Meeting held to support saving Century II

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A group known as "Save Century II" held a meeting Tuesday that informed people on why they think it's a bad idea to demolish Century II.

Century II has stood in downtown Wichita for 50 years. These meetings come after plans like the riverfront legacy master plan aim to change the look of the riverfront. Several citizens of the city sat in the Mary Jane Teall theater to give their opinion on why the building should or shouldn't be torn down.

"It's pretty important to all of us," said Cindy Sundell-Guy, a resident that attended the meeting. "It's in every picture of Wichita."

The meeting involved four main talking points dealing with the fate of the building including their analysis on the economic impact of tearing it down, their belief of the waste of resources if it's torn down and how they want a vote in the say if it is or isn't demolished. In the meeting it was an open house for those who wanted to come give their thoughts.

"I think as the general public is getting a little bit tired of tearing down some of our older buildings, uh, Lawrence-Dumont stadium, now century II," said Gary Bond another resident who attended the meeting.

Gary Bond described his fond memories of the building like coming to watch his daughters ballet recitals as well as other events over the years.

"It's got a lot of history," he said. "I think it's iconic."

Several people also shared their memories and thoughts during the open forum. Some people saying that maintaining the building is looking back into history.

"If we as a city want to move forward, what is your plan to help us look to the future and not just look backwards," an attendee in the crowd asked.

Conversations continued between the public and those that put on the meeting.

"Looking forward and doing new doesn't mean better that's the problem," said one of the speakers at the front of the theater.

Other questions surrounded asking the younger generation what they think about the building being torn down. However, the building being torn down is one thing. Renovations to it are another. Some people in attendance didn't want to see it torn down, but didn't mind renovations.

"It needs an adaptive use of some sort," said Sundell-Guy. "It's time to be recycled and I don't care what it's used for."

As the the buildings fate looms overhead, the topic still stands as an important one for people waiting to see what will happen to the building that stands downtown.

"This is one that really is important to the whole city of  Wichita," Sundell-Guy said.

The next meeting that the public can attend is Tuesday, Oct. 22.

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