Decision needed on old YMCA

Published 9:10 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Selma Ward 3 council member Greg Bjelke, who in his role with the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, has been working with property owner Tom Bolton to find a solution to what will become of the old YMCA building on Broad Street.

For weeks we have heard “updates” at council meetings on so called negotiations with Bolton on efforts to save the building and save nearby buildings from what is without a doubt a crumbling icon.

The disappointing thing through this entire process is the length of it.

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Everyone agrees the building is falling down on itself and that it poses a danger to nearby buildings.

Everyone agrees it would be great for it to be saved, preserving a piece of important history in Selma and stabilizing an architectural treasure.

We’ve heard of the process being a “ball in the air” that won’t be dropped, but we have seen this before. We have seen a group — the Freedom Foundation — come in and promise to save a downtown treasure in the Teppers Building, only to let it stand today as an example of what a promise unfilled and neglect look like.

It is our hope that an agreement can be made quickly, that the building can be saved and that we never have to see another Selma icon lost or simply standing with construction wrap around it for years on end.