cheltenham chamber of citizens

I am against  repurposing the Glenside Library and the demolishing Glenside pool.  These recommendations are distressing since the Glenside Library and the Glenside Pool are extremely important to adding value and to building community in Glenside. In fact, these two facilities were instrumental in our recent decision to move from Melrose Park to Glenside.  Their removal could contribute to a dropping of property values and lessoning the appeal to move to this area.


To me a “centralized community center” is an oxymoron. Community centered should exist in neighborhoods

Need more info on the new buildings being proposed. Since finances are important, administration, police and end should be efficient but no frills. Splash pads sound like a waste of money, and no substitute for community pools. elieve that the cost estimates presented in the presentation grossly understated the cost of the projects. The cost per sf of buildings was too low and the site acquisition costs were not factored into the estimates.
The study did not address traffic near the proposed sites especially at the Wall Park site where traffic is already backed up on Church road. Most importantly the study did not address how we are going to pay for these new facilities without significantly raising taxes.

Mixed Topic Comments

I would like to see the township place a focus on providing safe pedestrian access to the pools, libraries, and community centers, wherever they end up being located. 

I feel for a project which would  have a huge impact on the community and possibly property values it was not very transparent and I had to hear about it on social media from our community page .

The value of our neighborhood is dramatically increased by the walkable nature of it.  We can walk to the library, pool, farmers market, church, grocery, barber, and train station.  Without that, we may as well move to any other suburb.   Having people out walking makes the neighborhood safer, more welcoming, helps reduce congestion on the roads, and offers a sense of community for our youth as well as for the elders living independently.  Don’t take away our community centers.  

Need to Make Sure plans take into account community quality of life NOT JUST COST - especially as we pay such high taxes .

What makes this community different than other suburbs is that we can walk to many of the facilities and our children/grandchldren can bike/walk there also.  Changing that changes the community.

Consolidating administrative type activities in central locations makes good financial sense and is efficient. Libraries and pools in neighborhoods is essential. Perhaps explaining what "satellite" libraries would consist of might help.

The architects presented recommendations that are basically to tear everything down and build everything new, with a cost of over 100 million dollars that the township does not have. Taxes already make residents non-competitive when deciding to sell. The plan never presented the cost of repairing/keeping some of the properties - they just recommended not going that way. I would like to see the cost, of for example rebuilding Conklin pool where it is, as opposed of this crazy Wall Park project.


Community Centers, Libraries & Pools

As a new resident of the township, I would like to see new facilities that are worth the taxes we pay. Many people in this township clearly do not understand the financial burden of operating crumbling facilities. We are also too small of a community for multiple libraries. The current library situation is unusable because the locations are too small and often don’t have the books I want. Centralized facilities are the way of the future and would better serve us.

Would love to explore crowdsourcing volunteer construction talent within the Township to fix our facilities, similar to other successful nonprofit models like Habitat for Humanity and local churches.
A creative property tax abatement program for volunteers would alleviate costs while solidifying connections among residents. 

The community should be included as a strong partner in the decisions that are made for these facilities.

We must have more and continuing resident support before any final decisions are made by the commissioners.  They cannot  force these plans through if the people who are affected don’t want this!

Having functioning libraries and pools spread across our community makes us strong.  Centralized locations leaves the resources less accessible at the end of the day. Residents should be able to walk or ride their bikes to go to library or pool. Modernize the existing structures is best.  The proposed Wall Park is a very dangerous intersection!  Be fair to residents.  The intersection is bad.  The Township should work harder on this.  These changes affect most people in the community!

The community never received costs for renovation vs. demolition. This was requested during the presentation and as far as I know was not provided in follow up.

I believe that the cost estimates presented in the presentation grossly understated the cost of the projects. The cost per sf of buildings was too low and the site acquisition costs were not factored into the estimates.
The study did not address traffic near the proposed sites especially at the wall park site where traffic is already backed up on Church road. Most importantly the study did not address how we are going to pay for these new facilities without significantly raising taxes.

The administration, police and public works currently are in highly desirable locations for commercial or retail development, which should be sought as the first step in this whole plan, to provide rateables and financial resources to fund some of these proposals. 

EVERY real estate listing in my area mentions walkability to our pool and library.  It's a huge selling point for families.  Please don't take these amenities away from each neighborhood and replace them with a centralized center - it does not have the same feel or charm. Especially after forcing in a WaWa against our wishes.  Please listen to us! Keep the charm of our neighborhoods - renovate and take care of our assets - don't demolish them. Be better stewards going forward. 

Cheltenham is not the first or only Township to have aging facilities and funding issues.  We can learn better practices from other (even regional) townships who have found creative ways to preserve their historic places (like Glenside Hall) and keep their facilities (like neighborhood pools) while raising funds.  We can do better than the plan proposed!!!

Wall Park has playing fields, where will they be relocated? 

What about Ogontz Park, are there plans for that? 

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America and looks like you're going from 6 courts to 3 at Wall Park. 
How popular are the community pools now? 

Public transportation and/or bicycle access is very limited for those families who don't or can't drive.
Glenside Memorial Hall neighbors are very vocal about parking and area usage, what is the pavilion with the stage to be used        

There is absolutely no way the township has the money to put any of these plans into action. What I foresee is that you demolish or divest everything and then it takes years upon years to actually get any of this into motion. This will leave the communities devoid of any services we pay a lot of taxes for and will bring down the property value and the community in general.  Its embarrassing that you want to demolish or divest properties that have you not maintained. Take responsibility.  

What would replace Conklin Pool?  What is the plan for that land?  Also, splash pools aren’t a feasible idea.  Without oversight, they would become a problem.  Besides, they are only serviceable to little kids.

As a Glenside community member I cannot stress enough how crucial the Glenside pool and library are to our sense of community and belonging. 

Historic buildings in the township should be preserved by ordinances, even if the township decides to deaccession them. They are the tangible touchstones of our shared history and one of the reasons that I choose Cheltenham.

It would be great to see plenty of social media updates or even a mailer any time there are updates—it is daunting to pick through meeting minutes and proposals and lots of people can’t attend the meetings even on zoom.

A central campus for community facilities, particularly the pools and libraries, does not promote walk-ability. I'm surprised those proposals are even on the table. I'm also skeptical of arguments that maintenance of existing facilities is more costly than building new ones. 

Renovate the two pools. Stop with the craziness about splash pads. Make this a ballot issue and truly put in the work to educate the residents about the proposal .

Respresentative comments are listed here by category.

View the entire list of unedited study comments  here.

I think keeping pools and libraries accessible in multiple neighborhoods should be top priority. I would like to know more about what the satellite library locations would entail before I give full support for those.

Historic Buildings

Please consider that the historical places can never be replaced. This is part of the mission of the Township to preserve the historical legacy. It is easy to demolish but consider that what is being demolished is never replaced with a structure that has the character of the original. 

Seems like you’re taking away resources from the areas that need walking access and moving it all to a very busy and dangerous intersection. I would love if the current parks could be maintained better, not having to pick up glass before my kids play or broken slides. I’ve never seen the water feature at Wall Park on, but I’ve seen plenty of glass broken around to the point that we have to leave. Think of convenience for walkers/children instead of just making this new and shiny.

I think it’s extremely important to keep libraries and community centers in the areas that they currently serve. These facilities are utilized by many township residents and children and are a huge part of the draw to our community. 

It should be a priority to maintain the township's history as an early suburb of Philadelphia and that should be done by maintaining its historical buildings--obvious signs of how long the township has been around. No need for the old structures to be museums, but there are surely ways they can be renovated and put to beneficial use even if township government and residents need new, modern facilities. Invest in the future, preserve the past.

Other Comments