Chaplain Corps revives youth center

After outgrowing its former location on South Washington Street in downtown Tiffin, the Seneca County Chaplain Corps has opened new doors at the former Seneca County Youth Center, 3484 S. TR 151.

Tracy Elder, director of the Chaplain Corps, said the building has almost 9,000 square feet, and was scheduled to be torn down when she saw it listed in the newspaper and asked for a tour.

While the property needed quite a bit of work, she said, the Chaplain Corps decided it was worth the effort to undertake the rehab. The former youth center building offered enough space for the number of programs offered by the corps, Elder said.

Elder said the corps took possession of the building Aug. 1 and began the renovation needed to make it a home for the Seneca County Chaplains. She said not only was there no electricity or water service at the facility when they acquired it, but mold was found in the building. Because of the extent of rehabilitation work needed, the project became a “community partnership,” she said.

For weeks after the corps acquired the property, Elder said, all the remodeling work was done by generator, and AEP later offered the corps a free reconnect of utility service.

“They’re a fantastic group,” she said.

Elder said local businesses and individuals donated time, money and materials to transform the property, and “we can’t thank them enough.”

She said Tiffin Ace Hardware and Lowe’s Home Improvement assisted with exterior and interior painting projects, and Benjamin Bishop with Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department has been volunteering daily at the building to complete handyman projects.

“We couldn’t have done it without him,” Elder said.

Also, she said, Tom Daniel of Tom Daniel Construction fixed a problem with the building’s water line, and help from Tom Maiberger at TPC Food Service has been invaluable.

Elder said with the assistance of so many in the Tiffin community, the new location for the Chaplain Corps is “something elegant and beautiful,” and was done on a shoestring budget.

The facility, Elder said, is to be named after Raymond Brown and the Brown family, who she said have played an instrumental role in the success of the corps.

The center officially opened Oct. 25, Elder said, and is “our own home.”

Information about the Seneca County Chaplain Corps and the services it offers can be found on the organization’s website, The center can be reached at (419) 455-9320.