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Residents Present Plan to Save EPI Center

Oreland residents presented a plan to save the EPI Center to the Township Commissioners.

Residents presented their plan to save and restore the EPI Center in Oreland.

The original part of the building was built in 1909 and according to the presentation was one of the earliest Upper Dublin schools. There have also been two additions to the 1924 and 1949 to the building.

The EPI Center has previously been used as the Upper Dublin Library, the senior center, and currently is being used by the Upper Dublin Parks and Recreation Department for programs and by residents throughout the township.

The EPI Center is also currently used for the East Oreland Neighborhood Association's 5K Race, Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas Caroling, Annual Family Picnic and more. In a survey from the EONA, 87 percent of Oreland area families said they used township parks and recreation programs at the center or use the playground at the park at the center.

The residents asked the township to work with them to prevent the demolition of the building.

The residents of Oreland have formed the Friends of Upper Dublin EPI Center/East Oreland Schoolhouse, whom are dedicated to the retention, renovation and continued use of the EPI Center.

Residents who presented the plan explained they are have created the non-profit and are in the process of registering as a 501c(3).

Residents asked the township commissioners to give the Friends of Upper Dublin EPI Center a chance to build a partnership between the neighborhood and the township before making any further decisions on the fate of the EPI Center.

Commissioner Chet Derr (Ward 3), mentioned that the board has been "kicking around" the idea to demolish the EPI Center for nearly two years and asked why the residents became interested in the building at the final hour.

Commissioner Sharon Damsker (Ward 2), said "I'm open to exploring different partnership [opportunities]."

"I want to find a way to preserve something beautiful" but we have to do what's best for the whole township, she continued.

The commissioners gave the Friends of the Upper Dublin EPI Center a six month deadline to show progress.

Dot October 20, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Why is it that the Commissioners were quick to offer $100,000.00 to the school board to build a field, but the residents who are trying to save a piece of history are pressed, quizzed, scoffed at (per a member's facial expression - may have been the member who pushed the donating of our taxes...?) BTW, where is the Township's Historic Preservation Board? Have they weighed in on this?

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