Frequently Asked Questions
How did the Community House come to be?
In 1923, Eldridge Johnson, a successful businessman in town, was approached by a group of Moorestown residents looking for land and financing to build a community center. Mr. Johnson agreed to donate the funds necessary to build the facility, along with establishing a “permanent maintenance fund” for building operations. He challenged the community to raise funds towards building the community center and within eight months, more than $106,000 was raised in a town-wide fund drive. Donations came from 740 individuals, 500 school children and dozens of local civic and fraternal organizations. Mr. Johnson ultimately donated $250,000 and established a “permanent maintenance fund,” which at the time was $117,000. The Community House opened its doors on April 11, 1926.
Why is the Moorestown Community House unique?
No other town or community in NJ has a community center such as ours.
Who owns and operates the Moorestown Community House?
The Community House of Moorestown is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with tax-exempt status. Operations are overseen by a 15-member Board of Trustees and governed by a Charter and set of By Laws.
How many employees does the Moorestown Community House have?
Six (6) – Executive Director, Events Coordinator, 2 maintenance men, 2 night and weekend attendants
How big is the Moorestown Community House?
The building is 25,000 square feet. It has 3 floors, 29 rooms, 5 bathrooms, a pool with locker rooms and an elevator. The grounds are 2.2 acres.
Does the Community House receive any funding from the local government?
No. The Community House does not receive any Township, County, State or Federal funding.
What is the annual operating budget of the Moorestown Community House?
In 2013, operating expenses totaled $537,750. For 2014, the projected budget is $584,000. The breakdown is as follows:
Where does the Moorestown Community House get its revenue?
2013 revenue = $532,000
How much remains in the Permanent Maintenance Fund (aka Endowment)?
Currently, there is $160,000, which is down from $738,000 in 2007.
What happened to the permanent maintenance fund?
While some of the decline was a result of the market, most of it is due to required infrastructure needs, many of which have been significant.
- Removal of buried oil tanks and asbestos abatement
- Installation of an elevator for handicap access to the first floor
- Safety and health systems updates for the pool
- Replacement of inefficient electrical, HVAC and mechanical systems
- Cash needed to cover the revenue shortfall
To save the Community House, the gym was converted into a beautiful, ballroom. To complete the renovation, an $850,000 mortgage was secured. The ballroom revenue has exceeded expectations and has helped stabilize the annual budget. The room accommodates 200 guests for fundraisers, weddings, banquets, reunions, clubs and organizational meetings, recitals and other community events. Over 200 events were held during 2013 and use has increased steadily every year since 2008.
How has the Community House been able to stabilize operating expenses?
Individual user rentals of the rooms in various parts of the building have helped build the revenue stream to achieve a balanced budget. We still keep rental fees for community clubs and organizations low to attract and retain these tenants. Unfortunately, maintenance and operational costs rise every year.
Why are you trying to raise $2 million?
$2 million is needed for capital improvements, mortgage repayment and permanent maintenance fund replenishment.
A 5-year capital projects improvement plan outlined needs totaling $1 million. The projects will assure that the building is functioning more efficiently and at peak capacity.
The remainder of the money will pay off the mortgage and rebuild the permanent maintenance fund.
How will the $2 million from the Our Unity Restoration Campaign be spent?
$1,000,000+ for Capital Improvements
- Garden Room Air Conditioning
- Exterior Lighting
- Rear Patio
- Club Room (Air Conditioning, Carpet, Lighting)
- Basement and 2nd Floor (Air Conditioning, Hot Water Heater, Boilers)
- Parking Lot
- Pool (Dehumidifier, Benches, Fire Escapes)
- Ladies Lobby and Men’s Rooms
- Ballroom (HVAC, Carpet, Roof, AV, Chairs, Stage Curtain)
$675,000 to satisfy the mortgage. By paying off the mortgage, there will be a surplus of $50,000 a year from interest payments, which can go back into the permanent maintenance fund.
$325,00 will be added to the existing Permanent Maintenance Fund, which will restore this fund to its’ original level (inflation adjusted). By doing so, we will be adhering to Eldridge Johnson’s original and fundamentally sound plan.
How much has been pledged to date for the Our Unity Restoration Campaign?