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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Clear process needed for community center

Considering that it has been at least six years since the Town of Berlin floated the idea of replacing the old multi-purpose building on Flower Street with a community center, the critical question these days is when the talking will end and the doing begins.

Time is money, as they say, and the longer it takes to decide what a new center should include, the more difficult it will become to find a way to pay for it.

County Commissioner Diana Purnell, who is a member of the Berlin Community Center Advisory Committee, was even more emphatic in 2018, when she cautioned that failure to act expeditiously on such a project would leave the community with nothing but a pile of dirt where the multi-purpose building once stood.

It hasn’t come to that, but the town and the Flower Street area community need to agree on what is possible now and then establish a timeline to act on it.

What isn’t possible right now is the fulfillment of everyone’s wishes, some of which are beyond the scope of what the town and community center advocates can afford.

Although last week’s community center kickoff session invited residents to express their thoughts on what the center might include, the priorities ought to be creating a building and a campus layout to serve as foundation inside and outside of which various amenities can be added.

After all, a building with a big empty room that can accommodate big ideas at some point down the road is better than a well-planned room in a nonexistent building.

Town officials, committee members and residents should agree that creating a community center is going to be a building block process that will start with a solid foundation followed by more development as time and money allow.

Otherwise, more years will pass discussing a blue sky facility without a functioning counterpart on the ground.