The Rock Building should be preserved

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pike County Commission needs to take action on the Rock Building.

The downtown building with a long history is being left to deteriorate while commissioners debate what, if anything , they should do with the building.

Renovate? Too expensive, they say.

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Sell? For how much, they question.

Let it sit untouched? The path of least resistance, it appears.

The commissioners should be ashamed for letting the Rock Building founder. Since the Pike County Board of Education moved out of the building, it has been reduced to an untended storage facility for files and furniture.

With no maintenance and no care its condition has continued to deteriorate.

With only a short-term vision for the future, commissioners have been unable to agree on what to do about the building and, unfortunately, are likely to simply let it be sold or, worse yet, deteriorate to the point it must be demolished.

And that’s a shame.

The Rock Building can, and should, be a cornerstone of our community. Rehabilitating and renovating old structures, while more costly than building new ones, can preserve a community’s heritage and history. There is an intangible value into protecting, preserving and treasuring what we have, rather than discounting and discarding what seems “old” and out of date. Look, For example, at the efforts made to turn Troy’s old post office into an impressive cultural arts center.

Instead of thinking “what could we do with the building?,” county leaders seem content to ignore the issue, in hopes it will go away.

Sadly, the Rock Building seems fated for the worst, if for no other reason that the commission’s lack of action.

And that will be a loss for our community.