Southeastern PA

Pottstown Borough Council, neighbors discuss future of Ricketts Center

POTTSTOWN, Pa. - Many in Pottstown say they're hopeful for a resolution after learning that the Olivet Boys and Girls Club will no longer be offering programming at the Ricketts Center on Beech Street.

“I live three blocks from the Ricketts Center,” resident Juanita Jackson said. “I think that we need to have a place where our children can go. We, as community people, want to keep them off the street.”

The club has said that it's returning to its original mission of focusing on children in Reading and Berks County. During a special meeting, Pottstown Borough Council discussed a preliminary proposal to fill the void from Pottstown-based Hobarts Run. That proposal includes working with groups like the YWCA and Strive to organize volunteers to run the programs for the remainder of the year.

“We'd like to collaborate with them, we’d like to help facilitate those discussions, and we'd like to provide volunteers and help as we can,” Cathy Skitko, director of communications for Hobarts Run, said.

In the new year, organizations like Strive say they're interested in leasing the building. In that case officials say the borough’s parks and recreation department would likely oversee the center.

“We want a couple of organizations coming there, because they all could bring stuff to the table,” Pottstown Borough Councilwoman Trenita Lindsay said.

Nothing has been finalized at this point. All volunteers would need obtain necessary background checks and child clearances. The council says the hope is to provide a safe and caring environment for kids.

“The bottom line is it’s about the kids,” Lindsay said.

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