Schwenksville Celebrates Borough Hall Ribbon-Cutting
SCHWENKSVILLE PA – Borough Council representatives and staff members (at top) celebrated with the public Saturday (June 26, 2021), in the happy moment when a ribbon at the front doors of the new Schwenksville Borough Hall and Community Center was sliced into several pieces. Photos of the event and prepared remarks from participants, supplied by the borough at the request of The Post, mark the historic nature of the occasion.
Welcome from the borough manager
Borough Manager Anne Klepfer (above) welcomed the public and guests to the Schwenksville Borough Hall and Community Center, and thanked them for joining the borough “in marking the dedication of this wonderful community facility.” She continued:
“This project started with a simple idea for a pedestrian connection between Main Street and Meadow Park and a Montgomery County Montco 2040 Grant. It turned into a classic example of turning a negative into a positive, following the announcement that the Schwenksville Fire Company would merge with the Lower Frederick Fire Company. So, first and foremost, I need to thank the Schwenksville Fire Company and their governing board. This project would not have been possible without the Fire Company’s partnership in the grant project, generous donation of the land for the plaza and the hand-me-downs from the fire station … including the building that had great bones and was strategically located between the Main Street Plaza and Meadow Park.
“Now, with some architectural prowess and a lot of arduous work, we have this wonderful community gathering place, Borough Hall office, museum, and meeting room that also serves as our Emergency Management Center. There were many supporters and partners along the way. Neighbors Mike and Julia Sabo cooperated with easements. Montgomery County awarded the Borough with not one, but three, Montco 2040 grants that helped us build and improve the plaza. Victory Bank and the Fire Company donated matching dollars. Financing for the building renovation was provided by both Univest Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. Volunteers helped with the demo and our elected representatives – local, state, and federal – helped us through the pandemic and kept this project moving. Government officials here with us today are:
- “State Representative Tracy Pennyquick;
- David Corrian, from U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Dean’s office;
- Anne Levitt-Gruberger and Aaron Holly, representing Montgomery County; and
- State Senator Robert Mensch sent his congratulations. He regrets that he could not attend because he is in Harrisburg.
“The volunteer who has the most sweat equity in the building is Property Committee Chairman and Councilman Chris Melville. Thank you, Chris, and thank you to all the Borough Council members who donate their time, expertise and strength in their service to the Borough.”
Comments by Property Committee Chairman Chris Melville
“My name is Chris Melville, and one of the many hats I wear locally include a member of Borough Council and Chair for the Property Committee. On behalf of Borough Council, I would like to thank all of you for coming today. This has certainly been a long time coming!
“This project was near and dear to me. As a former member of Schwenksville Fire Company, I spent the first 10 years of my fire service career in this very building. One of the important aspects of the renovation was to include the existing Fire Museum, which is to your left, capturing the 144 year history of the Fire Company and their contributions to the Borough.
“This was one of the many reasons we decided to renovate the existing building instead of building new. As Anne mentioned, the bones of the building were good, and the building was centrally located within the Borough. Leveraging Lee Ann’s design expertise and the Architects’ input, it became evident that the building’s existing layout and construction would lend itself well to our desired needs, and continue to allow the flexible use of space that the community has depended on for the last 40 years.
“This facility is a prime example of local collaboration and the Borough and County’s commitments to redeveloping the downtown. This project would not have been possible without the design inputs of the Montgomery County Planning Commission for the plaza and pavilion behind you, as well as their financial contributions through the Montco 2040 grant program to complete the plaza.
“I would like to take this time to recognize some members of the construction team that made this all possible.
- “US Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development Program – Tonya St. Claire, represented by Daniel Blottenberger;
- Univest Bank – David Ohman, represented by Rod Hawthorn;
- Richard Kapusta & Co. – Richard Kapusta, and Project Architect Steven Eisenhart;
- Uhrig Construction Co. – Project Manager Steve Miller;
- Robert L. Brant & Associates – Wendy McKenna;
- Gilmore & Associates – David Leh;
- Borough Council, the Mayor, and the Property Committee;
- Montgomery County, for 2040 Project support that provided supplemental funding for the lighting and planters that showcase the new building; and
- Tom Laconis, our Tax Collector and Activity Committee Member, for helping with planning the events today.
“I would now like to invite members of Council and the Mayor forward to assist with the unveiling of our dedication plaque and ribbon cutting. At the conclusion of our ribbon cutting, I invite you all inside for a self-guided tour of the public spaces within the Borough Hall and Community Center.”
Photos and graphics supplied by the Borough of Schwenksville