Tyrone Twp. To explore the feasibility of saving the old town hall
May 19, 2021
By Mike Kruzman / [email protected]
Tyrone Township officials will explore what it will take to potentially save the Old Townhouse.
The township recently sold the old town hall property on Center Road, on which, tucked behind the parking lot, was the original town hall, already moved once. Recently, the citizens’ group Residents for Community Preservation set a goal of saving it, moving it and turning it into a centerpiece of community gathering.
At Tuesday’s board meeting, following accusations of not doing enough to save the building, township supervisor Mike Cunningham said there had been several discussions in the past and that no interest had been expressed by the public. When asked, he said residents prefer the money to be spent on the roads instead. Treasurer Jennifer Eden said when they last moved out they asked what people wanted to do with it, and no one said anything. She said: “The Council did not just ‘leave it behind’. We tried. It was on our agenda and we talked to the community about it.
Given this new interest, Council decided to create a small committee and ask the township engineer to do a review of what would be needed, its feasibility, and an estimated cost.
Administrator Herman Ferguson was excited to get people involved, saying this building represented everyone in the township and that he had no doubts in his mind that they were going to raise the money. Ferguson said he knew several people who were willing to work with the township and donate their time and services to the project.
The township has no money in its budget for this project, but RCP has shown an interest in fundraising for this one. Administrator David Walker said that once they had a cost in mind that would help RCP meet their fundraising goal.
Walker and Cunningham both wanted to know what the building’s use plan was after it moved. Cunningham said they had already moved her once and she stayed there, “becoming a toilet for ducks and rabbits.” He said he cleaned it himself, painted it, sanded it and “people said it was good, but they didn’t want to use it.”
RCP President Sara Dollman-Jersey said it was originally built to bring people together and could do so again if moved to the space near the New Town Hall. She envisioned this to be a centerpiece of a site with trails and potentially a pavilion down the road. There might be picnics or movies hosted on the site.
Others saw the townhouse being used as a venue for hosting recreational events like quilting classes or card games, baby showers or weddings. Members of the Historical Society have spoken of holding meetings there, but it should be noted that Treasurer Eden later commented on how the Historical Society said “no” to this idea in its last request.
Cunningham said he has worked with the owner of the property he is on now, and if they want to move him, they have until November of next year. He planned to make phone calls and appoint people to the small committee by the end of the week.