Dunn Com­mu­nity Cen­ter to see re­pairs, new us­age in ’18

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Blan­chard rblan­chard@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @boy­er­town­times on Twit­ter

The Dunn Com­mu­nity Cen­ter will soon be given new life. One of the goals of Ex­eter Town­ship’s Parks and Re­cre­ation Depart­ment for 2018 is to re-pur­pose and ren­o­vate the fa­cil­ity to in­crease rental space op­tions.

The top floor of the Dunn Com­mu­nity Cen­ter is com­pletely booked through spring with meet­ings, par­ties and other ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to Town­ship Su­per­vi­sor John Cusatis. The bot­tom floor is cur­rently be­ing used by the Friends of the Ex­eter Li­brary to store books for its bian­nual book sales ben­e­fit­ting the li­brary. The group’s events are held at Ex­eter Com­mu­nity Li­brary.

The town­ship has asked the Friends to va­cate the space by the end of 2017, with plans to uti­lize the space for var­i­ous com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The Parks and Re­cre­ation De­part­ments have been tasked with mak­ing them­selves self-suf­fi­cient within three years,” said Cusatis, adding how this will help re­lieve some of the pres­sure of a grow­ing parks bud­get. “One part of ac­com­plish­ing this is uti­liz­ing all the space avail­able in the most ef­fi­cient man­ner. The Dunn Cen­ter is a large re­source.”

Cusatis said, once va­cated, the space could be uti­lized im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing nec­es­sary re­pair work.

“De­mo­li­tion and re­fit­ting work on the in­te­rior of Dunn will be done over the win­ter. The de­mo­li­tion is nec­es­sary both to iden­tify where the wa­ter is­sues are to re­me­di­ate the prob­lem and to en­able re­fit­ting to cre­ate a more ef­fi­cient space. Change is dif­fi­cult but to get a han­dle on costs and an ever-in­creas­ing bud­get we must change the way things have been done.” He ex­plained how the town­ship has been look­ing at ways to gen­er­ate rev­enue in or­der to avoid a tax in­crease.

Dur­ing the Oct. 9 su­per­vi­sors’ meet­ing, Town­ship Man­ager John Granger sug­gested that a por­tion of the rental fees be con­trib­uted to the li­brary in lieu of any in­come lost from the Friends’ book sales. It was the con­sen­sus of the board to con­trib­ute $10,000 to the li­brary from the ad­di­tional rental

in­come.

At that same meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to the min­utes, Granger in­di­cated that when the Friends va­cate the Cen­ter’s base­ment, the ad­min­is­tra­tion would rec­om­mend that a work­out stu­dio be re­lo­cated to the first floor and the se­cond floor be re­served for items such as par­ties and con­fer­ences. He said the Dunn Cen­ter could po­ten­tially yield an ad­di­tional $50,000 in rev­enue in 2018.

The costs of the re­pair work, es­ti­mated at $15,012, have been ap­proved and are be­ing paid for through the town­ship’s Cap­i­tal Fund.

Cusatis said he ap­pre­ci­ates the hard work of the Friends and ex­pressed how this is about uti­liz­ing the space of the town­ship more wisely. He be­lieves this is the best so­lu­tion for ev­ery­one.

The Dunn Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 4565 Prest­wick Drive, was ded­i­cated to the town­ship in June 1999.

RE­BECCA BLAN­CHARD — DIGITAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Dunn Com­mu­nity Cen­ter in Ex­eter Town­ship will be see­ing some changes in 2018.

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