Bald Eagle

On Centre | Bald Eagle Area: Mountain Top Activity Center moves closer to opening doors

After seven years of fundraising and gradual headway, the day the Mountain Top Activity Center opens its doors is in sight.

Catherine Dittman, co-president of the board overseeing the center, said a lot of progress was made in the past year and there is a target number for the cash needed to begin operations.

“By our estimation, we need $245,000 to open our doors,” Dittman said.

The center, located at the former Clarence Elementary School building, is intended to be a combination library and fitness and community center, and also provide services for local veterans.

Over the years, water and sewage have been hooked up to the building and renovations to the exterior and interior have been made. Books and computers for the library have been collected through donations. Last year, the board brought in an architect to design bathrooms and features to make the building handicap accessible. The design was submitted to the state Department of Labor and Industry, and opening will also be dependent on its approval and implementation of that design.

Other work also needs to be done and a lack of available grants to aid in funding is still a challenge, Dittman said. Some cosmetic improvements need to be completed and gym equipment still needs to be purchased. Though the board “would love” for the center to be open by the end of the year, a more realistic date would be sometime in 2016, Dittman said.

Dittman said being close to opening the building is “rewarding” after working toward the goal for so long.

“We’re very, very committed to doing something for our community and for our veterans,” Dittman said.

Anyone looking to support the center and fill their bellies can do both Sunday at the sixth annual spaghetti dinner, held at the Moshannon Community Center. The event runs noon to 3 p.m. and tickets cost $7 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger. Visitors can eat in or takeout.