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A disaster in our own town

Ryan Catt
Special to the Post Independent

I have recently been inspired to write this My Side, and to inform the people.

This school bond issue violates both morality and logic; let’s go over the moral issues, starting with the obvious: people, businesses, student athletes, and yes, what affects a father, affects a family. I’m thinking of Rob Jones, owner of Glenwood Gymnastics Academy, and father to not only his own, but mentor to many stray kids throughout the community who needed a place to go to and a sport to love.

I would know, I’ve been having Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at the gym for the last five years. There’s been turnouts of more than 20 people, with Rob buying and cooking all the food. That is just one of the meaningful contributions, not including the 20-some years of top-rate gymnastics, with too many full-ride scholarships and state champions to list.



This is a person that deserves adequate help in relocation, not two phone calls in nine months from a so-called relocation committee. It is not easy nor cheap to just up and move a collegiate-sized gym. The assistance should come from the people displacing him, don’t you think?

I know of Rob’s plan submitted to the Re-1 School Board, for the property adjacent to the bus barn in South Glenwood. The property is currently a dry, dead field of grass. The answer was that they did not want a commercial property near their school, an all-take and no-give attitude. However, the commercial Bray Building will be completely surrounded by the expanded school upon completion, why is that?



What we are teaching our kids is rather obvious. Education does not only take place within a classroom, why is only one aspect of education important? Rob and his staff teach more than 200 children per month. But in just three to four months, the Gymnastics Academy, having been bulldozed, will look something like a small New Orleans after the hurricane, with lives affected almost the same, minus the deaths, of course. Don’t get me wrong, New Orleans is a huge tragedy, but people are truly losing their livelihoods here as well. This time by force of man, and not that of nature. One can be controlled, one cannot. That is not OK.

As far as logic goes, with $18 million in rising construction costs, would it not make sense to alter some plans? Maybe we could change the plans for a basketball facility that holds two games simultaneously. This is not Indiana, where high school basketball is worshiped.

Just because the recall failed, does not mean that 2,500-plus people signed it in vain. Valid or invalid signatures do not render the person’s opinion completely useless.

Lastly, I would like to say that “with power comes responsibility,” and this is not an excellent display of such. Oh, yeah, and sure, new houses and even brand new schools will go up all over New Orleans and where the gym once was, but does that make what happened there before righ? Call Fred Wall at 384-6001 and ask him about their plans.

Ryan Catt is a Glenwood Springs resident.


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