FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly voted to appropriate $650,000 to the Mary Siah Rec Center Improvement Project.
The funds are going towards repair of the center, which had critical items related to life and safety issues that were identified and needed to be fixed . The project was originally estimated to cost $1,455,455 but as the contractor was completing design for the project, an additional need for $650,000 was discovered.
Assembly members and borough staff discussed during the assembly meeting that the rec center would likely have three to five years of life after the project is completed. Some members of the assembly were worried about putting so much money into a project that might not last for a very long time, but Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Bryce Ward says he doesn't think they should talk about Mary Siah like it will be done after five years because there are other groups that could possibly take it over, or other ways to keep it open and safe into the future.
"I don't think the investment we're making now is a total loss in the aspect of that within five years it's all going to be gone, but I think it does give us that time frame that we need in order to operate that facility as a government facility (or) to come up with other plans," said Ward.
Officials say the rec center would have to close for about five months to finish the work within the upcoming February to September time frame.
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