Creating a Community Space

An Update on the Stoverstown Community Center and Stoverstown Whole Life Center Project



Old Stoverstown Fire Hall

Community members have joined together to establish plans for transforming the old Stoverstown fire hall, located on Fire Hall Road, in Spring Grove, into the Stoverstown Community Center (SCC) and Stoverstown Whole Life Center (SWLC). Their mission is to create a multiuse gathering place that encourages individuals to participate in community life.

The design team’s vision includes renovating the first floor into a venue for weddings, receptions, concerts and other events. The versatile floor plan includes a full commercial kitchen that will efficiently accommodate large crowd, as well as the opportunity for anyone in the community to rent it by the hour for baking, freezing and canning local produce.

The second floor will house SWLC, with plans to include a cafe and juice bar, as well as a couple of small multipurpose rooms. Healing modalities and services such as a therapeutic salt room, community acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen equipment  and a sensory deprivation tank are being considered.

Working with an existing building will present some limitations, but the team is optimistic and has an ambitious goal of designing the building to have a neutral impact on the environment. They intend to utilize a solar design and have been researching the use of sustainable construction materials, in addition to how the energy will be sourced and the sewage will be handled.

The six-acre property across Fire Hall Road from SCC/SWLC has been purchased, and ideas are being collected for its purpose. They include a nature preserve and wildlife sanctuary with walking paths, perhaps a labyrinth, and possibly an outdoor venue for educational purposes, entertainment and other events.

Most people have three places that shape everyday life: home, work or school, and a third place for coming together. “Creating an inviting third place will encourage community connection,” explains design team member Willa Lefever. “Our goal is to work together to be interdependent. We are combining the best of the past with the best of the present to create a sustainable future.”

For more information, call Sonnewald Natural Foods at 717-225-3825 or email Info@Sonnewald.org.

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