Tyrone Twp. To Explore Feasibility Of Saving Old Town Hall
May 19, 2021
By Mike Kruzman / email@example.com
Tyrone Township officials are going to explore what it will take to potentially save the old Town House.
The township recently sold the old township hall property on Center Road, on which, tucked back behind the parking lot stood the already once-relocated original town hall. Recently, the citizen group Residents for Community Preservation have turned their sights on saving it, moving it, and turning it into a centerpiece for community gathering.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Trustees, following accusations of not trying hard enough to save the building, Township Supervisor Mike Cunningham said there have been several discussions in the past and no interest was shown by the public. When asked, he said residents preferred that money be spent on the roads instead. Treasurer Jennifer Eden said when they last moved offices, they asked what people wanted to do with it, and nobody said anything. She said, “The Board did not just ‘leave it behind.’ We tried. It was on our agenda and we talked to the community about it.”
With this newfound interest, the Board decided on creating a small committee and having the township engineer do a review of what would be needed, the feasibility of it, and an estimated cost.
Trustee Herman Ferguson was enthusiastic about getting people involved, saying this building represents all the people in the township and he has no doubt in his mind that they are going to get the money raised. Ferguson said he knew of several people willing to work with the township and donate their time and services for the project.
The township does not have money in its budget for this project, but RCP has shown an interest in fundraising for it. Trustee David Walker said once they had a cost in mind that would help RCP with their fundraising goal.
Walker and Cunningham both wanted to know what the use plan was for the building, though, after it was moved. Cunningham said they already moved it once and it sat there, “becoming a toilet for ducks and rabbits.” He said he cleaned it himself, they painted it, sanded it, and “people said it was nice, but didn’t want to use it.”
RCP President Sara Dollman-Jersey said it was originally built to bring people together, and can again if relocated to the space near the new town hall. She envisioned it being a centerpiece of a site with trails and potentially a pavilion down the road. There could be picnics or movies hosted on the site.
Others saw the Town House being used as a place to hold recreational events like quilting classes or card games, holding baby showers or weddings. Members of the Historical Society talked about holding meetings there, though it should be noted, Treasurer Eden later commented on how the Historical Society said “no” to that idea when last asked.
Cunningham said he has worked with the owner of the property it now sits on, and if they are going to move it, they have until November of next year. He anticipated making phone calls and appointing people to the small committee by the end of the week.