Transfer of ownership in place, South Middleton and Appalachian Trail Conservancy begin plans for cottage construction | The Sentinel: News

Phyllis Zimmerman for Sentinel

The Township of South Middleton has taken possession of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy building in Boiling Springs, with each party now saying they are developing plans for the building’s use.

Last week, the conservation announced the completion of the sale of its mid-Atlantic regional office building near Children’s Lake to South Middleton Township.

The reserve said it would remain in the building through a no-fee lease with the township to create “a more comprehensive visitor experience for local tourism, including Appalachian Trail hikers,” Jordan said this week. Bowman, TAC communications director.

Township supervisors approved a September 30, 2021 sale agreement for the building. The sale of “the cottage” closed in December for approximately $144,000 and included the ATC building, a surrounding 1.6 acre parcel, as well as a gazebo and parking on the property.

Last month, township supervisors approved a license agreement with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to maintain “some kind of presence in this building,” township superintendent Cory Adams said.

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“There is no cost (for this use) as we believe the ATC continues to provide a necessary public service, not only to visitors to Boiling Springs, but also to Appalachian Trail hikers, who will always traverse the region,” Adams said. last month.

“TAC is very excited about working with community partners, and we are grateful that the Township of South Middleton is so interested in promoting the Appalachian Trail and other recreational assets in the area,” said Bowman at the Sentinel on Friday. “There are over 10,000 annual visitors to The Cottage, and we expect that number to grow.”

In the meantime, the conservation has moved its mid-Atlantic regional offices from the Children’s Lake building to “temporary” rented space in Carlisle. Bowman said the former ATC office building in Boiling Springs is “best suited to meet and greet visitors.

“It was time to focus on these visitors and move operations from the ATC office to another more suitable location nearby,” he said.

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A permanent site is pending, but Bowman said further details will be announced in the coming months.

The township saw the move “as an opportunity to assume ownership of the property, which has long served as the primary gathering point for the community, and to make investments and improvements to it,” Adams said.

“ATC still wanted to have some presence in the building, but unless they owned and maintained the property. … The Township will own and maintain the property as a public park and visitor center, while partnering with the ATC to staff the office during peak hiking times, as well as our parks and recreation. It’s a good example of intergovernmental and not-for-profit partnership,” Adams said.

“It’s a perfect partnership. Our partnership will enable many improvements to the building and visitor offerings,” Bowman said.

Bowman said it was up to the township to come up with long-term plans for the site, as he now owns the building.

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“We will take time over the next year to finalize the (construction) plans,” Bowman said. “In the meantime, ATC is working with local volunteers and the community to provide limited services during the upcoming hiking season as the township develops its long-term goals.”

Adams said the township will begin “cleaning up” the property’s landscape over the next few weeks, but other plans remain in development at this time.


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