I know that some people question the ongoing drive to restore the Brainerd Building and turn it into a community center. Some people think we should just tear it down to add parking spaces for the high school. What saddens me is that many of those in favor of demolition are young people, children who are being brought up to believe that new is better, and the old should just be tossed aside. (This "dump the old" philosophy worries me more and more as I myself age.)
The thing to remember is that the Brainerd Building isn’t just some decrepit, useless old shell. It is structurally sound and architecturally interesting, and more, it can offer so much more than just nostalgia to the community. The location is walkable by children and adults alike, and the space is practical and very usable. Other than some obvious large expenses, such as the roof, HVAC and electrical work, the building needs mainly cosmetic repair, after which it could become a vital part of the community once more.
We need to get away from the mentality that says old is not good. Our earth is at a critical point—we need to recycle and reuse as much as possible if we expect to survive the next millennium. That includes already-built structures that can be reclaimed. Remember, every building we save means one less requiring new energy and resources being used.
Saving Brainerd is a no-brainer. And no Brainerd would be a shame.