March 14, 2013

Letter: A true example of collaboration

— In 2006, the board of directors of the Carpet and Rug Institute began to explore the possibility of moving the offices of the Institute to a smaller facility. CRI didn’t need all of its space on College Drive, and the association’s members wanted to make the building available to rapidly expanding Dalton State College.

Hearing that the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce was interested in moving closer to downtown Dalton, CRI contacted the chamber to investigate acquiring the chamber building on College Drive. Although the chamber facility was too small for CRI, the meeting did cement a mutual desire to find first-class office space for both organizations.

Two years passed and Dalton Public Schools was faced with an extensive repair to its administrative offices on Hamilton Street. Rather than bear that expense, Dalton’s Mayor and Council invited the school system to occupy the third floor of the recently completed City Hall. As part of that move, DPS swapped its building for the old jail which belonged to the city of Dalton.

Time passed and Dalton Utilities, in its role as storm water authority, expressed the need to develop a retention area west of the interstate — a measure designed to resolve the flooding occurring along a nearby creek. The ideal location for a retention area was identified as the chamber property on College Drive near the I-75 exit ramp.

All of the parties I’ve mentioned worked together, and in the end, everyone benefited — a true example of collaboration: groups working together for the public interest. In order to preserve an important historic building in the center of downtown, the city agreed to renovate the old school administration building. CRI and the chamber agreed to be the new, long-term tenants of the restored building in downtown. The chamber deeded the old office on College Drive to the city, and CRI transferred its building to the DSC Foundation for use by the college.

On behalf of the Dalton State College Foundation, I offer my sincere thanks to Mayor David Pennington and the Dalton City Council; Jim Hawkins and the DPS Board of Education; Don Cope and the Water, Light and Sinking Fund Commission; Werner Braun, Frank Hurd and the CRI board of directors and its members; and Brian Anderson and the chamber Board of Directors.  

Once again, leaders of Dalton’s key organizations have demonstrated that we—as a community—are much stronger when we work together toward shared goals and visions.  It took seven years, but everyone came to the table, everyone gave and everyone came out ahead. Thank you!

Jim Bethel, chairman

Dalton State College Foundation