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Golf Tournament to Benefit Community Center

Work is continuing in the effort to renovate the gymnasium of the former J.W. Cooper High School building, White and Lloyd streets, so it can transformed into a community youth center.
Shenandoah -- Work is continuing in the effort to renovate the gymnasium of the former J.W. Cooper High School building, White and Lloyd streets, so it can transformed into a community youth center.

Building owner Kent Steinmetz credited Mike Godynick as a principal supporter of the effort to renovate the former high school into a community center for business, arts/crafts, the performing arts, recreation and even relaxation. Theresa Price is another principal in the effort.

Steinmetz said Godynick is among the fundraisers who helped to organize a golf tournament to generate money for the work.

He also said the newest version of the change-of-use plan for the gymnasium project — to which he referred as a “Youth Center/YMCA/Schuylkill Community Action room” — includes a ramp needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ramp will provide access to the handicapped on the building’s eastern side along Lehigh Street, thus making possible the opening of the gymnasium/youth center.

The lack of access for the handicapped on the buildings western side, along White Street, forced Steinmetz and the Cooper board to close the building to the public, eliminating a funding source from seven businesses that had leased space in the center.

Steinmetz stressed the Cooper effort has received a 501c3 license as a charity and the board would greatly appreciate contributions to advance the renovation effort.

“The money raised by Mr. Godynick and others on that (volunteer) committee are supplementing personal funds to accomplish the opening of a YMCA/Youth Center in the heart of Shenandoah,” Steinmetz said.

People can follow the progress on the Cooper’s Facebook page website  . The website also has a page titled “Giving” where people can make donations via PayPal if they wish.

Anyone wanting to become part of the community center effort should email Steinmetz at kent@steinmetsjewelers.com.

(Information from Elwood Pierson)
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