Mountain Top Activity Center in Snow Shoe Township is on its way to becoming a reality.
The planned fitness and community center just received a $50,000 Keystone Communities grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, with help from the Centre County Planning and Community Development office and State Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Lock Haven.
MTAC, formed as a nonprofit in 2008 by volunteers, has been working toward renovating the former Clarence Elementary School building to eventually be a health and fitness center, library, computer lab, before and after school care, day care and recreation space for local residents of all ages.
The grant money will be used for the repair or replacement of the gymnasium roof and any remaining funds for the installation of new bathrooms and showers.
Cathy Dittman, a local United Methodist pastor and co-president of MTAC, has seen the project through since its inception.
“We are a small but dedicated group of community members who are trying to make a difference by providing ways to meet the needs of those in the Mountain Top and surrounding areas,” she said of MTAC.
Dittman and her team polled people in the community by asking what they would like to see in the center when it was finished and incorporated their answers into the center’s vision.
Once the project is finished, the MTAC board plans to dedicate the building and property to all veterans. There are many reasons for this, said Dittman, but one is personal.
“All board members honor and respect the sacrifices of our veterans and we plan to do all we can to provide opportunities for them at the community center,” she wrote in an email. “We have a board member who is a veteran and we have many veterans in our rural community; and, my son — Jarod — was killed in 2008 while on duty with Homeland Security — US Border Patrol.”
MTAC still needs additional funding for costs related to the roofing and bathrooms project and other renovations. Plans to open the community center, said Dittman, depend on the completion of all renovations and inspections.
“MTAC’s role is to serve the community,” she said.
Tax deductible donations may be sent to MTAC, Inc., PO Box 217, Snow Shoe, PA 16874. MTAC’s EIN is: 26-2221314.