Farewell and Thanks – York Service Center

While Scouting programs rarely occur in offices, our council service centers provide a foundation for our operations and outreach. Now that our York Service Center building has been sold, I want to thank our stakeholders whose generosity allowed our council to construct and make outstanding use of our service center on White Street in West Manchester Township. That support has been invaluable in helping us serve the community effectively, and we are deeply grateful.

On Wednesday morning, I turned over the keys to our now-former York Service Center to the buyer’s agent.  That task prompted me to reflect again on how every asset we have as a council comes to us through the inspirational generosity of the communities we serve.  Every dollar, our offices, and our camps represent the community’s investment in our programs and service to our Scouts and their families. 

My tenure as Scout Executive for the former York-Adams Area Council began 27 years ago. When I arrived, the building still had that “new car smell,” and there wasn’t a single picture on the wall. I don’t know if I can use one word to describe my feelings about the last few weeks of emptying the building. It’s been a bit unsettling, to say the least.

Now that the building has been sold, the community’s support that built the York Service Center isn’t simply money going into our bank account.  It’s being used to renovate another asset given to Scouting by the community, the historic dining hall at Camp Tuckahoe as our new council headquarters.  While that building hasn’t been our dining hall at Tuckahoe for many years now, there are many memories of that building in the hearts and minds of those campers and leaders who passed through Tuckahoe since the camp opened in 1948.  Work on the new service center will begin at the end of summer camp in August.

While I’m excited to be working on renovating the historic dining hall at Tuckahoe to create our new service center, I wanted to pause to adequately express our council’s sincere thanks and appreciation and remember how the York Service Center came to be.

The York-Adams Area Council embarked on the new office project after formal approval from the Executive Board on June 20, 1995. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on April 5, 1996. To ensure the project’s success, a 25-member Office Task Force, chaired by William E. Ernst, supervised the design and construction phases. Concurrently, a 16-member Major Gifts Committee, led by Thomas S. Summers, was instrumental in fundraising and gift-in-kind efforts, securing over $400,000 for the new council headquarters. Additionally, the Council utilized funds from the Robert and Blanche Fluhrer Trust, which was permitted for capital projects, covering more than half the total project cost.

Nutec Design Associates was the architect for the new office, and Kinsley Construction was the general contractor.  The new service center was dedicated on October 20, 1996.

Through the pictures below (Tom Summers took the construction photos), I thought sharing a few memories about the building’s creation would be worthwhile.

Groundbreaking Ceremony Invitation Cover – April 5, 1996

Groundbreaking Ceremony Invitation – April 5, 1996

Pouring of the concrete slab – April 25, 1996

Rough framing – June 7, 1996

Roof installed – June 28, 1996

Exterior Stonework – August 16, 1996

Framed rendering presented to Office Task Force Chair William E. Ernst at the dedication ceremony

Donor recognition plaque displayed in the lobby

Tribute plaque displayed in the conference room

With sincere thanks to the people and organizations who helped to provide the facility for Scouting’s use, we say “hail and farewell” to the York Service Center on behalf of a grateful New Birth of Freedom Council.

Yours in Scouting,

Ron Gardner
Scout Executive & CEO

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