Palo Christi could be used for city offices or a boys and girls club

The former Palo Christi Elementary School could be used for more space by the City of Kingman or the Boys and Girls Club of Kingman.

Miner/file

The former Palo Christi Elementary School could be used for more space by the City of Kingman or the Boys and Girls Club of Kingman.

KINGMAN – Kingman has outgrown its current city offices, and council members are looking to remedy the need for more space.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the discussion of taking action to have more space for city offices and city council meetings became one of the major topics of the night.

This agenda item came after Kingman resident Donna Pederson said she felt concerned that the city council was not making use of the $80,000 space-needs study that was performed for the city last year.

Pederson contacted Councilman Travis Lingenfelter, who agreed to sponsor the discussion by having the item put on the agenda for the meeting.

“The prior council, as I understand it, spent $80,000 to do this space-needs study, so I believe that the city owed the public at least a public discussion concerning the results of that,” Lingenfelter said.

Although the prior council did in fact get to review the space needs study, it was toward the end of their terms. Now, with only two of the previous council members on the current council, new members are looking to understand what the study entailed and found.

“Only two members of this council saw that study,” said Councilwoman Jamie Scott Stehly. “We should be giving it the respect it deserves by seeing the information.”

Scott-Stehly recommended the city contact the organization that performed the study to see if they may be able to come back and offer a brief presentation of their findings.

Although plans were made to contact the survey team and schedule the presentation on the agenda for a future council meeting, City Manager John Dougherty offered a brief snapshot of the study’s findings.

Dougherty said that because Palo Christi is an older building, there were a lot of unknowns and it may end up being rather expensive to remodel.

“By the dollar signs they put in their studies, building new would have been the cheapest,” Dougherty said. “But when the council did a tour of Palo Christi, there was actually a lot of positive feedback, the council was actually considering taking that property off the school board’s hands and making it a city complex.”

However, a renovated city complex is not the only possible future for Palo Christi.

Boys and Girls Club of Kingman CEO Bill Ward approached the council and said the club was actually in talks to obtain Palo Christi to help with their exponential growth.

Ward said that he has been in discussion with members of the KUSD board as to whether or not ownership of Palo Christi could be transferred to the Boys and Girls Club of Kingman.

Ward also said that having Palo Christi would allow the club to “continue to grow, to be a teen center, ‘tween center and more … for the community.”

Whether the future of Palo Christi will be as a city complex or a center for the Boys and Girls Club of America, it is too early to know.