Friends of the Kirkbride Rally to Keep the Campus Standing
Supporters were voicing their concerns about the history and opportunities that will be lost if parts, or all of the campus are destroyed
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Over the last decade, there has been a debate on whether to preserve or demolish the Fergus Falls State Hospital Complex and now people are rallying to keep the campus intact.
Friends of the Kirkbride are rallying by informing supporters on the work they feel needs to be done to keep the asylum alive.
At the beginning of the year, the city decided to come up with a compromise for those who want the campus demolished and those who want it preserved.
But organizers of the rally say they aren’t being transparent with what they are tearing down.
Supporters were voicing their concerns about the history and opportunities that will be lost if parts, or all of the campus are destroyed.
“It will be like ripping out the heart of our community,” said Laurie Mullen, the President of Friends of the Kirkbride.
“Unite us as friends of the Kirkbride, to be clear about our purpose, even though the city council is asking for dollars to demolish the building that we are opposed to that,” said Jon Olson, a supporter and organizer.
“It has incredible possibilities for development, it will preserve history, it will help create jobs it will be a tourist attraction if the city will embrace it,” said Kristy Halstensgaard, a member of Friends of the Kirkbride.
“Smaller communities are looking for a reason to exist. We have the most unique property in Minnesota. It’s not an acceptable alternative for us the building needs to stay intact,” Mullen said.
“You can’t replace this kind of work once it’s gone,” Halstensgaard said.
The city is asking for $8.9 million to demolish the Kirkbride Asylum, but many supporters say it would cost nothing to give the city more time to leave the campus, and find a developer to give it a better future.