At the end of August we informed you that the Tolentine Community Center would be shutting down after 25 years at 11th and Mifflin. Now that the center is no longer in operation there, what exactly does the future hold for this 35,000 sq. ft. space?
While certain things are still in flux, the center will remain a community space and will be run by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Beyond that, there are still plenty of questions about the programming and future of this center, some of which will be discussed at an upcoming East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association meeting.
Tolentine Community Center occupied this space for 25 years until their lease ended in July. Tolentine attempted to negotiate for an extension, but those requests were denied. Over the years there has been some controversy regarding the space and its openness to the community. Some believe that the center has not been as accessible to those in the neighborhood as it should be.
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“It will not be sold,” said Michael DiBerardinis, deputy mayor for environmental and community resources. “And it will not be closed. There is no equivocation there.”
DiBerardinis said the Department of Parks and Recreation will assume control of the building. A new name is coming; Tolentine officials said they would take the letters on the building’s exterior with them. DiBerardinis hopes to begin some programs by the fall, but he was unsure about details.
Tolentine, he said, was offered a chance to partner with the city in leadership and programming. It rejected the offer.
At the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association’s Monday, September 14 meeting, the future of this community center will be discussed with Leo Dignam, who is Parks and Recreation’s Deputy Commissioner for Programs. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Neumman-Goretti High School cafeteria.
What sort of new community programming would you like to see here?