Parking garage of 'fundamental importance'

November 16, 2003

Dear Editor:

Because none of us can predict the future, investing in it always entails some risk. The only safe bet is to invest in things that are of fundamental importance to an organization or a community. If they are fundamentally important today, they most likely will be tomorrow as well.

Let me illustrate the point. Just over a year ago, we at Centre undertook a $40 million bond issue in order to refinance some existing debt but largely to make possible The College Centre project. On a residential campus, the primary academic building (library, classrooms, faculty offices) and the student athletic and recreation center are fundamentally important to who we are and what we do in educating the mind and body. Is there risk involved for a small college in borrowing such a large amount of money? You bet there is. Is it an acceptable risk? Absolutely.

The City of Danville is facing a similar decision. Should it borrow $2.2 million, to be paid off over a 20-year period, in order to build a parking garage in the downtown area? In order to answer this question, we must ask ourselves: Is having a vibrant and attractive downtown fundamentally important to this community, today and tomorrow? There is only one right answer to this question. Absolutely.


Is this risk acceptable? Fortunately, because state and federal government officials have seen the wisdom of this project, the risk is minimal. External funding in the amount of $2.75 million will cover more than half the cost of the project. This money is already on the table. All that we Danvillians have to do is prove that we believe as much in the future of our city as others do. But we must act soon in order to avoid losing these funds and the economic stimulus that a parking garage will bring to our downtown business district.

It has been my observation that cities, like apples, rot from the core out. Although our downtown is in need of some polishing, Danville is a good apple. Its future is worthy of the confidence of the community and of those who serve on the City Commission.

John A. Roush


Centre College

Central Kentucky News Articles