In historic preservation, which I studied in graduate school, we like to say the erosion of historic fabric happens by degrees. I argue the same holds true for the erosion of community fabric. I’d like to ask the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) to reconsider the purchase of 137 Society Drive as the chosen facility for its maintenance garage. This will drive a coffin nail into an important area program — namely Telluride Gymnastics. In addition, to rid the area of Telluride Gymnastics, ninjas program and Telluride CrossFit will have social and economic ripple effects that will deaden all Lawson Hill — it will harm both the nearby businesses and kill a healthy social wellness hub. A community tar pit will stand where life once teemed.

Sure. These small businesses can’t afford to buy the building and SMART can. However, there is a backup offer on the table, which would keep the facility available for its current renters. Sure, it makes sense on land use maps — near the transit hub of the commuter lot above. Sure, there’s some great grant money out there for SMART to take advantage of. However, this is not the right community fit, to snuff out a beloved local program that requires its unique space and location.

Does a vibrant community kill small businesses that have catered to over a thousand of our children since its inception over 10 years ago? No.

Does a vibrant community extinguish health and wellness facilities used by hundreds of local athletes? No.

My daughter participates in gymnastics. Like too many of our young girls, she often lacks confidence. I’ve witnessed her strength and mental toughness grow in her two years in the gymnastics program — the toughness it takes to tackle a hard world. Loss of this special space kills an unmatched outlet for young female athletes, a place where young girls become teammates, rather than Queen Bees. Does Telluride disarm our girls early in a world ready to strip their confidence? Is this our kind of community? This building is the only one in the region large enough to house a full-fledged gymnastics program. You can’t do uneven bars at the Roma.

Come on, everyone. Let’s put the SMART maintenance facility elsewhere. Somewhere with greater maneuverability and space. Let’s not fill a vibrant spark of a neighborhood with a transportation graveyard, a bunch of upright tombs in place to remind us people used to find joy there.

Jen Parsons