SCOTT CITY — The Bryan Education Center recently closed its door, another casualty of a hurting economy.
Budget constraints forced the Garden City Community College Endowment Association to re-evaluate the center, which was gifted to them in 1996.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Melinda Harrington, GCC endowment executive director, of the decision to close the building that had become a gathering place for not only Scott County residents, but also people in surrounding rural counties who wanted college courses close to home.
Last week GCCC Endowment Association sent out letters to the Scott County and city county government, as well as the school district and Scott County Foundation asking for written proposals regarding the future of the building.
“Since May we have been very upfront that we are willing to gift it, but that depends on what they want to do with the building,” Harrington said.
Now they hope to hear from the community.
“If they don’t want to take it on because they think it’s a liability we need to know so we can all move on,” Harrington said.
It was longtime Scott City businessman Arthur Bryan who donated the building to the college. Once Bryan’s Hardware, then later Wall’s True Value, the building was donated in memory of Bryan’s wife, Myrtle, who had been a local educator most of her life.
“It is our intent to find the best resolution that will continue to provide service to Scott City and Scott County, including USD 466, other interested parties and the entire community,” said Harrington.
Proposals will be accepted from all private and public entities and must include what the building will be used for. If the endowment ends up selling the building, the money could possibly go for scholarships to benefit Scott County students attending GCCC, Harrington said.
It will be up to the board of directors to evaluate and reject any or all of the proposals, by a majority vote.
Scott County Clerk Pam Faurot, said the commissioners received the letter but all county offices were currently in “very nice digs, at a very low cost.”
Though the building was given to GCCC, in 2000 the Scott County commissioners borrowed $225,000 to completely remodel the facility so that it could be used for out reach classes complete with a computer lab. That note was paid off, Faurot said.
“It gave us a nice facility,” said Faurot, who was surprised and sad when she learned the center was closing.
Not only did local residents use the center, but students also came from Dighton, Leoti and Healy.
From high school students taking courses for dual credit to farmers enrolling in winter courses on commodity trading or flight lessons, the building attracted more than 10,000 people during its heyday.