Residents tell WTAJ that the medical center wants to know if patients would use the proposed Ram Centre if the hospital offered services there.
This move is raising suspicion in Penns Valley.
The Ram Centre has been proposed to help the Penns Valley community. The Office of Aging would offer services to older residents. The YMCA would offer athletic opportunities. The most important question for residents in the area is whether Mount Nittany Medical, a top employer in Centre County will support the project.
"They don't want to make a commitment until they understand what the broader community is interested in having," said Dennis Bender of Centre Hall. He's been called by Mount Nittany and he like many area residents are uncomfortable that Penns Valley school board members are affiliated with fundraising groups to raise money for the center. Many residents also don't want the Ram Centre to be built on school property because it could cause traffic problems.
"I think a lot of other issues would drop away if that one was solved," he said.
Residents say they've been asked if Mount Nittany offered services in the Ram Centre would they use the facility? This comes as supporters of the project say the medical center will offer care at the center.
"It makes me very suspicious of the of the words that I've heard Mount Nittany actually say they claim that they do not want to make any commitment," said Ann Stapleton, an organizer for Penns Valley Community Action, which opposes the project.
Mount Nittany Medical already serves the Penns Valley area through a local office, which is across the street from the Penns Valley Area High School. Many local residents want to know what the medical center's decision will be on the Ram Centre, because that decision could determine whether the Ram Centre survives or fails.
Mount Nittany tells WTAJ that it'll wait to learn how the Penns Valley School District and residents decide on the project and that, the medical center will eventually make a business decision on the project. Residents hope the decision will be to continue services here, but not extend care at the Ram Centre.
The survey data should be released later this year.