Please Join the Wm. Bartram Scenic Highway Group in making a difference. We're raising money to benefit the restoration of the former Switzerland Community Center on State Road 13 to be used as a gathering place for the Northwest St. Johns County communities. All donations will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to our communities of Fruit Cove, Switzerland, Orangedale and Northwest St. Johns County.
We're working to restore the historic Switzerland Community Center in St. Johns County Florida. This historic building, across from Alpine Groves Park, is a local treasure where long term county residents and their families have fond memories. The objective for restoring the building is to permit future generations to have similar memories.
This will be a community meeting place, a place to socialize, and simply have good times.
The history of the building began in early 1900’s as John Seth Church and moved to the present site in 1940 where it also served as the Switzerland Community Club. In 1949 a building from Camp Blanding was floated across the St. Johns River and made a part of the Community Center.
In 1952 a concrete block addition served as a volunteer fire station until 2000 when it was turned over to St. Johns County. The Volunteer Fire Station and community center building was eventually abandoned when the county established its present professional fire department.
The Bartram Scenic Highway Group believes a restored Community Center will serve a common good for the Northwest St. Johns County area serving the needs for a gathering place to serve for countless area functions including a potential place for the Council of Aging to serve our senior citizens.
The scenic highway group worked long and hard to achieve St. Johns County approval with a formal lease document permitting us to begin the planning process, including fundraising.
We’re unsure of the total cost to complete the project beyond the cost estimated in St. Johns County’s 2010 attempt to restore the building. At that time the estimated cost was in excess of $500,000. We’ve obviously taken on a big challenge but we’re confident the community can/will get behind this project.
We’re now in the process of increasing membership with reduced membership dues, an improved website, and other social media presence. This Gofundme site has been established and we’re in the process of requesting local and other regional/national grants. Will you help? If interested to be part of the restoration work please contact us via our website membership application link. Thank you for your interest.
Please visit: www.bartramscenichighway.com to learn more about the Bartram Scenic Highway and also access a link to our complete master plan on the County’s website. We’re on Facebook too, page name: William Bartram Scenic Highway Group.
- Al Abbatiello
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