After a last-minute listing, Ashley Park Hall may yet stand tall for years to come.
The City of Swift Current had been planning to demolish the historic Ahsley Park hall, which began its life back in World War II as part of the local air base. With plans to renovate the area with more park space and residential lots, it looked as if the only thing left for the disused hall was to be destroyed and hauled off to the landfill.
However, after the Mayor of Swift Current, Al Bridal, decided to allow for offers on the history-rich facility, a lifeline may present itself to the old clubhouse.
Jim Jones, the acting chief administrative officer for the City of Swift Current, revealed after Monday's city council meeting that they have indeed received a single inquiry for the sale of Ashley Park Hall.
"After our community consultation that we had, the comment that came through the Mayor that maybe we should put it out just as a one-week advertising to see if somebody wanted to take the hall away without us actually having to demolish it," said Jones. "So we decided to put it in the paper and some social media, and we have so far had one person come forward that's interested in it."
Part of the challenge, should this as-of-yet-unnamed interested party proceed, is that the building is taller than the surrounding power lines. If it were to be moved, having the power lines managed and moved out of the way would cost a fair bit.
There is also the matter of the building age, which has left the structure somewhat worn. If it were moved, measures would need to be taken to ensure its stability during the move.
"The City would still be responsible for removing the old basement and the cement and filling the hole in any way," noted Jones. "If somebody wanted to do that and, at their expense, take it, the city would look at it because it would cost us less money to do so."
For the time being, the prospective buyer has to weigh the costs of the move against the act of preserving the building. For now, it's all still up in the air.
"We actually had some of our facility staff come in and give us a general idea based on where the hall was and how much of a 'state of disrepair' there was with it," added Jones. "At the end of the day, that was going to be two or $300,000 to put it up to where we could actually rent it out. So it just was felt that we have lots of City venues right now that we're renting out for meetings and the rest of the stuff. It's not like we're short at the end of the day."