The City is interested in hearing your thoughts. Please read through the background information below, and share your opinion on 7 brief questions.
 
The City has owned Hawthorne Hall since 1957. It is a 7,500 square foot building located at the end of a dead end street (2nd Street) in Old Town (see map in question 4).  You might know it as the former Boys and Girls Club site, as the Boys and Girls Club leased the property from the City, from the 1960’s through 2019, when they moved to a new facility in Harbour Pointe.

Hawthorne Hall was built by volunteers in the 1920’s and has a rich history that includes use for community meetings, social events, a temporary school when Rosehill School burnt down in 1928, and club meetings. In 1993, the building was placed on the City’s Register of Historic Places.   

The City is recruiting members for the Historic Preservation Commission so that they can also review future use of the property/building. One of the major responsibilities of the Historic Preservation Commission is to identify and actively encourage the conservation of the city’s historic resources by reviewing proposed changes to register properties like Hawthorne Hall. Commissioners will likely be appointed in the next few months and will begin a review of Hawthorne Hall, as the decision makers on changes of the property's use or whether the property can be demolished for the purposes of sale. The final decision on removal of the property from the City's Register of Historic Places, or sale of the property, is up to the City Council.

The City Council is evaluating options for the property.  As background:

  • Building Features
    • The building has a three-quarter size basketball court which occupies much of the building’s first floor.  The court could be used for recreation programs and as a meeting/event space.  The building also has areas for non-gym use, including a small kitchen.   
    • The property has 12 off-street parking spaces.
  • Expenses and Revenue
    • If the City were to bring the building up to current construction codes, it would cost at least $600,000.
    • Operating costs for staffing limited recreational programs, building utilities and maintenance are estimated at $100,000 per year. At this point in time, it is unlikely the City would be able to recover all costs through rental or program fees.
    • The property is zoned Single Family Residential and could be sold for residential purposes.  It is possible that up to two single family residential lots could be created from the property. In 2018, a nearby single-family lot of similar size to what could be created with the Hawthorne Hall property sold for $375,000.
  • Uses
    • City-only use of the building would likely be for recreation programming and perhaps satellite office use for Police functions. This possible use would not occur until 2022.
    • Some interest has been expressed in non-city organizations to lease the building, but no discussion about lease rates has occurred.

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* 1. Hawthorne Hall is a valuable community asset.

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* 2. The City should pursue all reasonable avenues of preserving Hawthorne Hall (retaining, leasing, or selling to someone who will reuse the building) before deciding to demolish the building and sell the property.

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* 3. Hawthorne Hall would be worth keeping even if it cost the City over $600,000 to upgrade/renovate. 

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* 4. What might be an appropriate future purpose/use for Hawthorne Hall that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood?

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* 5. My family and I would use, or I would consider renting space at Hawthorne Hall (choose all possible reasons).

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* 6. I would support the City spending up to $100,000 per year to pay for operating costs of staffing, utilities and maintenance, knowing that the majority of that would be paid through taxes and not rental income.

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* 7. Hawthorne Hall should be sold if the City could clear $300,000 to $500,000 from the sale (i.e. after sales commissions, fees and possible demolition costs are subtracted.)

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