The Jim Thorpe Borough Council held it's regular monthly meeting at Memorial Park on Thursday, Nov. 11. Justin Yaich, one council member, announced that Memorial Hall is being assessed for possibility of sale. Usually, borough halls, as a symbol of local government along with their distinctive architectural design are structures considered to have great historical and cultural significance. Given this recognition, in my opinion, projected sale of the hall is of concern and needs to be given appropriate consideration.
It seems the reason Memorial Hall is being considered for sale is because the roof needs repair and the borough budget is presently unable to cover the cost.
Memorial Hall is one segment of the borough complex which consists of Memorial Park, Borough Hall and Memorial Hall. In accordance with convention for local government, Memorial Hall is the chief administrative building for the borough because the borough council meets there and functions as the base for the mayor of the borough. A single large open hall forms an integral part of the building which is used for council meetings along with other significant events used for the transaction of the public business. As such the hall represents the seat of local government. It is more than a community center.
"Memorial Hall may serve the public as a place for voting, examinations, vaccinations, relief in the times of disaster and the posting of war casualties as well as more usual civil functions, festivals, and entertainments such as receptions, banquets, balls, recitals and public entertainment." There are usually costs involved that need to be discussed prior to scheduling.
During the 20th century local councils started removing administrative offices into modern offices, new premises are being developed and constructed to house local governments, the concepts and functions of administration, council offices and the civic hall are separated. This is the way of progress and the economy.
In summary, as the seat of borough government, should Memorial Hall be sold or not? The hall is used for the transaction of public business of the borough, the holding of a court of justice. The hall promotes, enhances and gives direction to the quality of life of the community. Both halls, Borough and Memorial, have facilities for storage of documents and references that concern the borough's administration. Memorial Hall, as a symbol of cultural and historical significance, needs community support for continued continuity into the future. In my opinion, this icon of the community should not be sold.