Palmer Township Youth Center takes shape, but needs about $500,000 to complete | Lehigh Valley Regional News
PALMER TWP., Pa. — The Palmer Township Kiwanis Youth Center is close to being ready, but funding for the $1.9 million project will soon run out.
“We have the building under the roof,” former Palmer Township Supervisor David Colver said Tuesday. “The shingles are on, the roof is in place, the rough mechanical work is progressing.”
The physical progress is obvious, but the financial side is lacking.
Colver, who is in the construction business and a member of the project’s promotion committee, said the project is about $500,000 short. It does not depend on taxpayers’ money.
The youth center committee has raised nearly $700,000 and has a $50,000 grant from Northampton County, but fundraising has slowed, Colver said.
“It’s about involving the Palmer community and businesses,” Colver said of his fundraising appeal. “This is a much needed project.”
The two-story center is next to the youth soccer field at the Charles Chrin Community Center. The 10,200 square foot center replaces a one-story building built by volunteers in the 1960s.
Colver said the new center isn’t just for sports, or even for young people.
“He will be there not only to serve the young, but also the elderly, people of all ages, for many years to come,” he said.
Scouts, church groups, seniors and community organizations will be able to congregate at the center, and for sports there will be a wrestling area, batting cages and locker rooms.
“It’s a center that you and your children and your grandchildren could use,” Colver said.
Of the total cost of $1.9 million, approximately $400,000 of labor was donated. Pidcock Engineering handled the design and architectural work, Chrins Cos. tore down the old structure and excavated space for the new one, and Colver’s company handled the construction management.
Palmer contributed $200,000 for utilities and a fence, but from recreation fees paid by developers, not taxpayer funds. Colver said the center committee hopes to get an additional $100,000 in recreation fees because costs have increased.
The committee raised about $700,000, but that leaves a gap of about half a million dollars. This means that large contributions are needed.
Colver asked donors to contact him via the youth center website to give him a chance to pitch for the project.
The goal is to open the new center this fall.
“This center will serve the township for many years to come,” he said. “I would welcome the opportunity to tell people about the benefits of the project. I’m doing it as a volunteer. I want to go all the way and make it happen.”
Information about the project is available on the the center’s website.
Donations payable to The Palmer Youth Center Project may also be mailed to: The Palmer Youth Center Project, c/o Charles Romfo, 87 Jonathan Drive, Palmer, PA 18045.