The memories of the Blair Dance Hall will never be erased, no matter the future of City Hall's upstairs.
Generations of Blair residents and visitors from across the country gathered together and celebrated weddings, community events and everything in between in the dance hall before it closed to the public in 2008.
The space has sat empty ever since and now the debate has turned to what to do with it.
Will it remain empty for the remainder of the building's life or is there something to be done to bring it back to its glory days?
The Blair City Council recently approved a feasibility study for for the cost of $14,000 to see what work needs to be done to accommodate new restrooms, an elevator and a kitchen and improve safety. This was to update the 2007 feasibility study, which ultimately led to the decision to close the second floor.
No decision has been made as to what to do with the space other than to see the extent of what needs to be done. In that, there is little to no harm. It's worthwhile to see if a place that means so much to so many people and would bring back a piece of Blair history can be saved and repurposed. If the study shows that the cost is reasonable, then it's something the city should strongly consider and if it's more trouble than it's worth, then it may be time to move on.
No matter the decision, the discussions following the results of the study should be done looking at the facts of the issue from a cost-effectiveness standpoint while considering the project's impact on the city. This could potentially be a costly project for the community and therefore should not be accepted or rejected based on feelings that may be attached to one side or the other.
A renovated dance hall would give the city an added amenity and prevent the space from falling into disrepair. But, again, that decision should be made based on what the study shows and what makes the most sense to the community.
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