Bentworth Community Center seeks donors

Community CenterAre libraries becoming obsolete?

The answer is a resounding no. Libraries are no longer just about books, and the Bentworth Community Center is not just a library. The Bentleyville Public Library will be renovated and expanded upon to accommodate not only the needed bookracks and shelving for an increase in books, but also to house enough room for the activities and programs involved with the Bentworth Senior Center and Bentleyville Area Historical Society. The Bentworth Community Center is intended to serve a connection to the community with classrooms, meeting spaces, and other activities.

The Bentworth Community Center serves the residents of Bentleyville, Cokeburg, and Ellsworth Burroughs, as well as the townships of Northern Bethlehem and Somerset, a population of 8,500 citizens.

With a growing population of senior citizens and more families relocating to the area, and citizens seeking retraining and resources to meet future job opportunities, it is critical that a viable, exciting, safe and modern community center be equipped to handle the community’s needs.

The expansion of space and modernizing of the proposed Bentworth Community Center will enable all three community organizations to function both independently and with great interaction with the shared goal of meeting the public’s needs.

“This is such a phenomenal opportunity for the Bentworth District to really do something for all age groups and interests, a tremendous asset everyone can use, for everybody, not just one group. The sky’s the limit for what this building offers.” said Barrie Coleman, Capital Campaign Director for the project.

The Bentworth Community Center project will greatly expand the existing senior center. The renovated area will provide ADA compliant facilities, spacious dining and activity areas, a kitchen area with energy-efficient appliances and adequate lighting, and capacity for programming and informational sessions such as retirement planning, introduction to Medicare, and health lectures for the entire community of residents ages 55 and older.

The renovation of the Bentleyville Area Historical Society will provide access to large meeting areas for programs, events and lectures. The project will help to preserve historical documents and artifacts with an increase in storage for the ample records, as well as the artifacts and documents to be archived. Numerous museum-quality display cases will be added for artifacts on display throughout the building.

“We’re looking to bring back a bit of the old flavor of the Lower End Elementary School, where residents went to in the past, with updates in modern-day technology,” said Coleman.

When asked about if there will be any ceremonies held for the reopening of the community center, Barrie Coleman said that “During construction, the senior center will remain open and other facilities will remain uninterrupted. There will be a ‘big bru ha ha’ to be held after completion of the project in the spring of 2017.”

The project is grant and donor funded. The Bentleyville Public Library Board of Trustees has pledged a donation. The Friends of the Library have also pledged. The Bentworth Community Center Building Project graciously accepts outside donations through pledge gifts. For more information on pledge gifts, visit Gift forms are also available at the Bentleyville Public Library.

The Bentworth Community Center Building Project is a non-profit expenditure with the sole purpose of expanding the community center to better suit the needs of the public. Donors are recognized for their contributions which will be on permanent display in the Center. Support will preserve the past and foster stronger generations today and tomorrow.

For additional information on the projects or how to make a donation, contact Barrie Coleman, Capital Campaign Director for the Bentworth Community Center Building Project, 931 Main Street, Bentleyville, PA 15314 or 724-986-7123 or by email
Story by Aaron Dalzell for Pennsylvania Bridges

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