Parcel Sought For Berlin Community Center

BERLIN – Town officials are hoping a county-owned parcel could be added to the site being considered for a community center.

The Town of Berlin asked the Worcester County Commissioners this week for a 3.4-acre lot near the multi-purpose building on Flower Street. Municipal leaders would like to combine the county parcel with property owned by the town and property owned by the Berlin Community Improvement Association to create a 6.5-acre site for a new community center.

“At a high level, the county owns property behind the SHORE UP facility off Flower Street and the Town of Berlin’s interested in acquiring that,” Chief Administrative Officer Weston Young said.

While Mayor Zack Tyndall wasn’t present at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, a letter he sent to the commissioners outlines the town’s plan to combine multiple properties to create a 6.5-acre site for a community center.

Tyndall wrote that the town was working with the Berlin Community Improvement Association (BCIA) and SHORE UP to combine four parcels—one owned by the town, one owned by the county and two owned by BCIA—to create a larger site for the much-anticipated community center. The county site being sought by the town is made up of open space as well as an offline wetland the county let the town build to help reduce flooding in the area.

The commissioners agreed to schedule a public hearing on the request.

Berlin leaders have been talking about a community center for years and in recent months have taken steps toward making it a reality. In the fall, the town spent $45,000 to purchase a half-acre lot adjacent to the BCIA parcels containing the multi-purpose building and SHORE UP’s facility. In the months since, town leaders have been working with BCIA representatives to advance plans for combining the properties so a community center can be built at what was once the site of the historic Flower Street School.

According to a statement Tyndall shared on social media, the town will continue to meet with the BCIA to work toward combining its two parcels.

While it’s too soon for details of the new facility to be known, Tyndall said it would include classrooms for SHORE UP as well as community meeting space.

“The community center will create a safe environment where residents can gather to learn, play, and celebrate,” Tyndall said in his statement. “It is the goal to create a multigenerational facility that will meet the needs of the youngest to the oldest members of our community.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.