Forks: ICN building dedicated

July 13, 2004

by George McCormick
Forks Forum

On July 7, the West End Business and Technology Center (Integrated Community Network building) on the corner of Spartan Ave. and Calawah Way was dedicated.

About 40 people attended the event that featured a videoconference with U.S. Senator Patty Murray from Washington, D.C. who praised the efforts of the many people who brought the ICN vision to fruition.
The fact that we can see and hear each other right now – from all the way across the country – is a testament to the great things we can accomplish when we work together to recognize and meet needs in our state, Murray said to participants in Forks. It is just the kind of catalyst for economic development, better education, and greater opportunity that you told me you needed.
She supported an $89,000 federal Economic Development Initiative grant that allowed the city to purchase and remodel the building. She then participated in a simultaneous virtual ribbon cutting.
Forks Mayor Nedra Reed said, We are here today because of a lot of hard work from a lot of people too numerous to mention.
She then singled out key players including the ICN committee, Bill and Kitty Sperry, Washington State University staff, Monica Babine and Dee Christensen and others. I want to thank CenturyTel for taking a chance on a small town in rural America Reed said.
A dream is to imagine as possible almost anything, she said. A dream is also to realize one’s finest hopes.
This is a new beginning, a future, a wood frame, concrete, steel and glass realization of a dream, Reed said. Thank you all for dreaming the dream with us and welcome to our ‘field of dreams’ — the West End Business and Technology Center.
Clallam County Commissioner Mike Doherty also praised the effort before the ribbon was cut by Reed, Doherty and Frank Walter, president of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, allowing people to enter the building and tour the facility.
Among those present who were involved in the project were Jim Haguewood, Clallam County Economic Development Council; Babine and Christensen from Washington State University; Tony Nicholson and Jacquie Goodwill of CenturyTel; Rod Fleck and Dan Leinan, City of Forks; Phil Kitchel, president of West End Business and Professional Association and one of the building’s tenants; Jerry Schlie, architect; and others.
The building has been part of the Integrated Community Network vision since April 2000 when the concept was first explored in a community meeting that drew 150 participants.
The remodeled building houses wired office spaces, a computer classroom and a Skills Center classroom in conjunction with the Quillayute Valley School District and a computer lab. One of its roles is as a business incubator for new local business start-ups and for local businesses seeking to expand in cooperation with the Clallam County Economic Development Council.



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