Issue: SDSU has created architectural plans to build an education and visitor center in McCrory Gardens.
The proposed McCrory Garden center would have many functions, including housing SDSU classes, a visitor center and also a reception hall/conference area.
More than 80 percent of the funds needed to build the center have already been raised, and SDSU will receive $250,000 from the city of Brookings. University officials are making a strong push for construction to start.
The project will help to expand the campus. Because we are gaining students, we will have more needs in the future. Landscape architecture, horticulture and plant science majors could occasionally visit the gardens for class.
We think the education and visitor center will help make McCrory Gardens even more of an attraction when visiting Brookings. There will a larger parking area, and bathrooms will be added. More weddings or other events such as conferences and retreats would be able to take place in the gardens since there will be sufficient facilities.
We are in support of everything that the new education and visitor center would offer, but we are not sure if the optional expansion is needed. We want to keep the area of McCrory Gardens a sacred and unique place. If a really large center was built, it may start to look commercialized and draw away from the original idea of the gardens.
We also think the building could be moved a little farther north within the area of the gardens, so that more of the original garden area could be expanded.
There will be a strong emphasis on the education part of the project, and we support SDSU in expanding facilities for that reason.
Overall, the new education and visitor center in McCrory Gardens would provide many options for events.
Stance: We support the construction of the new McCrory Gardens education and visitor center but do not necessarily think an expanded version is needed.