READING, Pa. - An almost $2 million project by the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Pendora Park has some residents in Reading fired up.
The non-profit is looking to demolish the more than 100-year-old Pendora Field House and construct a $1.8 million facility.
At a contentious community meeting held at Pendora Field House, dozens of concerned residents wanted the non-profit to build in another location.
"My concerns is that with an entity like the Olivets, there will be too many constraints on the neighborhood," said Ruth Epler from the Reading Board of Parks and Recreation.
"The park will still be accessible. We just have to program it around the programs for kids," Jeffrey Palmer, CEO of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club.
Pendora Field House is approximately 8,000 square feet. The facility proposed by the Olivet Boys and Girls Club would be approximately 14,000 square feet, be open every day with supervised activities for kids from 6 to 18 years of age, have a homework center, computer lab, as well as arts and crafts.
"We have adult basket ball leagues, we have family nights, so we serve everyone, but our special concern is for kids," said Palmer.
The non-profit plans to lease the land from the city and take care of the upkeep of the Pendora Park for the city.
Money for the $1.8 million facility will come through a capital-fundraising campaign.
"It's going to remain a public park by the city of Reading, but it's a partnership with a strong youth-serving organization that's had a fine reputation in the city." City council is expected make a final vote on the issue by the Spring.
Allentown, PA 18102