A Brief History of the Center
The Ardmore Avenue Community Center was organized in 1968 through the efforts of a group of visionary, community minded residents responding to the serious need for a youth center to serve the approximately 500 families in the area. By 1970 the corps of backers had grown to include the Ardmore Progressive Civic Association and other Lower Merion Township leaders. After negotiating with the Township, permission was secured to use a building conveniently situated in Ardmore adjacent to the Ardmore Avenue Playground (now the Vernon V. Young Memorial Playground). The site was ideal. The Center was called the Soul Shack.
The dreams of many Ardmore residents and community representatives became a reality when the Township of Lower Merion approved the development of a new facility to replace the existing Soul Shack Youth Center. In 1977, with government funding, a new Ardmore Avenue Community Center was erected with over 7100 square feet of space. This occasion not only represented the addition of a new facility for the youth of Ardmore, but it marked the beginning of a unique relationship between the Township of Lower Merion and the representatives of the Non Profit organization called the Soul Shack. The Township and the Soul Shack Community Board agreed to enter into a written agreement that would provide the necessary framework to insure the continuation and improvement of meaningful life experience for the residents of Ardmore.
The primary objective of the written agreement between the two parties is to provide a meaningful and productive Community Center for the youth and adult population of the Ardmore Community. The agreement developed represents a mutual understanding and commitment of both parties to accomplish these objectives.