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O'Hara community center fundraising bolstered; plans move forward

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Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, 7:14 p.m.
 

When O'Hara Council issued a $1 million matching challenge grant to help build a new Boyd Community Center, it reinvigorated a year-long capital campaign, Executive Director Stephanie Flom said.

“We're getting great feedback,” Flom said. “People are very excited.”

Since September, more than $326,000 has been raised toward the $2 million balance to be paid for the new center.

Construction on the building is to start in the spring on 11 acres on Powers Run Road.

Gifts of $50 and up have been donated, she said.

Some residents have hosted fundraising receptions in their homes. Others have posted signs in their driveways.

“There is a Crofton resident who gave our brochures on Halloween,” Flom said, referring to a neighborhood in the township.

The Community Center and Library Association, which oversees the Boyd facility, started a website and Facebook page to spread the word.

Publicizing the effort to raise the rest of the money needed is the idea behind the Meet the Challenge! Campaign, said O'Hara Council President Bob Smith. The Lower Valley needs a first-rate facility to compete with neighboring municipalities and draw new residents, Smith added.

Money for the challenge was included in O'Hara's 2014 budget, set to be approved in December.

The planned $7.25 million community center would house cultural, athletic and educational programs.

It would replace an old school building where classes have been offered for the last three decades.

Flom said the floor plan recently was confirmed, as architects prepare construction bid documents.

The plan includes a walking track, gymnasium, dance studio, exercise room, art studio, multipurpose room/theater and café.

Money that comes in above the goal could be used to build a backstage area for the theater, or to purchase a portable stage, Flom said.

In its 30 years, the Boyd center has grown from a few classes to more than 300 programs that include exercise, cooking, computers, gardening, foreign language, sports and technology. Enrollment is in the thousands.

O'Hara Manager Julie Jakubec said the township's pledge is meant to bring local government and residents together.

“Council felt that everyone could work together to make great things happen,” she said.

Flom said donations at any level are welcome. For details, call 412-828-8566.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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