As many of you may know, earlier this year S.T.R.I.V.E. submitted a proposal to Borough Council which included our vision for restoring The Ricketts Center to its former glory.
Our mission at S.T.R.I.V.E. is centered around community building through fostering relationships and mentoring. For us, we saw the opportunity with The Ricketts Center as fitting within our overall mission.
Our decision to submit the proposal for the contract to lease the space was two-fold. First we wanted to speak up so we could make sure the legacy of the building was being properly honored. Several of our board members and volunteers have personal connection to The Ricketts Center and its impact as a resource for mentorship. Secondly, we wanted to give the Borough a second option. While we were serious about taking over the space, we also felt it gave the Council some necessary leverage to push the Olivet Boys and Girls Club to better meet the needs of the community. This included weekend hours and more community initiated programs.
As of Monday, August 12th, the Borough Council voted to renew the lease for Olivet Boys & Girls Club for 4 more years. We fully supported this decision by the Council and we appreciate the Council taking the time to assess the needs of the community and to hold the Olivet Boys & Girls Club to the high standard which our diverse and growing community deserves.
To our surprise, as of last night, August 14th, Olivet Boys and Girls Club has withdrawn their proposal completely and are removing themselves from any connection with The Ricketts Center. We felt compelled to release this statement in response.
As it stands, S.T.R.I.V.E. is currently focused on the rapidly approaching school year and our Created For Greatness mentorship and after school programs. We will be approaching the Borough Council in the next few days to assess the situation and the potential for S.T.R.I.V.E. being involved in any way with The Ricketts Center. We understand that there is still a desperate need for a community center in Pottstown so that the youth and others have a space that is easily accessible, one that provides a level of mentorship and one that brings community a much needed sense of connection.
No matter what happens in the coming days and weeks with The Ricketts Center, our mission will still be to bring the community together. We will still strive to facilitate a space for community events and programs. We will see what we can do to find new space for the programs that were being run out of The Ricketts Center so that they may continue. We understand that there are youth within the community who were participating in programs at The Ricketts Center that got hit with some bad news this evening. Our hope is to be there for community and to assist as much as possible in this interim period.
The S.T.R.I.V.E Initiative