The mission of the Elizabeth Township Community Center is to provide township residents the opportunity to enhance their quality of life through health, social, educational and cultural enrichment activities.
In August 2004, when the Township Trustees took possession of the Miami East South Elementary School, we couldn’t even imagine today’s grand opening. At that point in time, we had no idea how we would ultimately utilize this building. However, one thing we knew for certain, was that we wanted the residents to have a voice in designing the future of the facility.
Through our quarterly township newsletter, we asked for volunteers to serve on an Advisory Board to research options and develop a plan. Eleven residents volunteered and became the original committee, led by Trustee, Ron Swallow. As a testament to the fortitude and passion of the Advisory Board, seven members of the original group are still actively volunteering their time and talents 3 ½ years later. Current Advisory Board members are: Richard Goodwin, Lou Ann Jess, Peggy Smith, Carol Sutherly, Laura Sutherly, Delores Swallow and Patty Taynor.
Initial meetings found the group debating the many possibilities for the building. Many times, it was said that if it was strictly a matter of dollars and cents, the smart and prudent thing to do would be to tear down the building and erect a new facility. But, as residents of Historical Elizabeth Township, neither the Trustees nor the Advisory Board could conceive tearing down a solid structure built in the early 1900’s. And to our good fortune, the renovation was well within the township’s financial means.
Plans moved slowly as we sent out surveys to the residents asking for their input and views. During this time, classrooms were painted, old carpet was removed and hardwood floors were refinished. Meanwhile, the Historical Society began putting a Museum in place. In July of 2005, we held our first Community Day Picnic. The event was very well attended and the first floor of the Community Center was unveiled on that day. In the fall of 2005, we opened the community center for meetings and open gym activities.
Once the concept of a community center was formed, the Trustees and the Advisory Board met regularly with an architectural firm to design plans for the renovation. By the end of March 2006, the Community Center doors were closed to the public and the renovation began in earnest. As you may imagine, the process was long and arduous.
As you enjoy the grand opening of the new Elizabeth Township Community Center, we hope you will agree the renovations are outstanding. It was designed with an emphasis of blending "old" historical elements with “new” modern conveniences. We are fortunate to have this wonderful facility within our community and we hope you will enjoy it.
Elizabeth Township Trustees