Construction on Great Valley’s first Community Center starts in November

An artist’s rendering of the community center.
An artist’s rendering of the community center. Submitted Image

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Malvern >> Construction of a $6 million state-of-the-art community center in Malvern will begin this fall due to a successful “Building Connections” grassroots campaign by the Great Valley Community Organization (GVCO).

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“When a few families began GVCO in 2001, we had two goals: to build a more interconnected community, and to make a positive impact on our kids. We have been achieving this goal because of our dedicated and selfless volunteers,” said Keith Walsh, executive director of GVCO. “Since GVCO’s founding more than a decade ago, Great Valley’s population has more than doubled and has changed dramatically, both in terms of demographics and the growing demand for additional youth, adult and senior programming.”

The organization is planning to build Phase One, a 40,000-plus square-foot facility, on land that was secured from the Great Valley School District in the fall of 2015. The new site is centrally located in the school district on North Bacton Hill Road, adjacent to the current GVCO/GVBL location. The property is conveniently located near the proposed Swanenburg Park, the Chester Valley Trail and the East Whiteland Township trail system, as proposed by the township’s comprehensive plan. The new facility will include: court space, mezzanine level viewing, elevated walking track, fitness center, outdoor courts, café area, meeting rooms, multi-purpose classrooms, a performance stage, a large room for cheer/dance, dressing rooms and much more. Outdoor plans in Phase One include a generous parking area, open practice fields, amphitheater, outdoor picnic area, and convenient access to the Chester Valley Trail.

“GVCO is an asset that promotes regional growth and enhances the quality of life for all Great Valley residents,” said Jim Renehan, of Renehan Building Group. The new center will support the community by providing ample space where the entire family can come for fitness, recreation and enrichment. Surrey Services for Seniors and Steps for Hope are just two of the new partnerships being formed to provide expanded community resources to our area residents. GVCO will transform from one of the area’s premier sports/recreational programs, which has served over 5,500 area families, into a world-class community asset that delivers a broad range of athletic, educational, artistic, recreational, and senior programs that address key community needs.

GVCO is directed by a board of highly qualified community leaders who have invested countless hours directing the thoughtful growth of the organization. “GVCO has done an amazing job under volunteer management with a very limited budget,” said Dennis Zatlin, president of Allied Resources Group. Substantial and professional due diligence has been completed to ensure that GVCO is not only headed down the right path but will also succeed well into the future. During this process, GVCO has partnered with Arcus Design Group, Bill Bennington, LLC, East Whiteland Township, Great Valley School District, IMC Construction, Ingram Engineering, Just in Time! Communications, JMR Engineering, Lynn Cummings Development Corp., MacElree Harvey, Resolution Accounting, Schultz & Williams Consulting, So Deep Inc., and Visual Technology. GVCO’s relationships with these partners, coupled with extensive research, validates the sustainability of the new center well into the future.

“So far, a third of our goal has been raised via the ‘Building Connections’ campaign,” said Cindy Thompson, chair of the Capital Campaign. “We have been fortunate with our efforts from generous donations from the GVCO Family. However, with no state or government funding available, we need to do this as a community: a place to come together; a place we build together.”