Petition circulates to change RAC design

By Zorina Barker, Forum Correspondent


A petition containing more than 120 signatures was set to be presented to the Forks City Council on Monday night.


Birdie James said she began circulating a petition after seeing the design for the new Rainforest Arts Center pictured on the cover of the Oct. 3 issue of the Forks Forum.


On Monday, Oct. 7, she began taking a poll of the reactions from the general public. What she learned, she said, convinced her to start the petition.


Most people, she said, were not impressed with the brick and steel building. Some felt like it looked like something out of the old cartoon, “The Jetsons,” she said.


Many thought a wooden building would be better suited for the corner building to reflect the city’s logging heritage.


“I think we need something to represent the community and environment as a whole,” James said.


The design for the $2.1 million building, by the NAC architecture firm of Seattle, was shown to Forks residents at Forks High School’s Homecoming football game Sept. 27.


A final design proposal is slated to be shown at a joint meeting of the West End Business and Professionals Association and the Forks Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 23 in the Department of Natural Resources conference room, 411 Tillicum Lane.


The city council will review the design Oct. 28.


The building will replace the old Rainforest Arts Center, a former International Order of Odd Fellows lodge, which burned in October of last year.


The city received a $2.64 million settlement from its insurance company.


The new building will be placed on two lots, the former Odd Fellows lot and the adjacent lot at the corner of Forks Avenue and Division Street which was gifted to the city Sept. 25 by the West Olympic Council of the Arts, which purchased it for $60,000 from Alaska Financial Co.

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