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Grant funds various Pa. projects

January 17, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Rebuilding a historic spring house, putting new restrooms at Greencastle's Jerome R. King Playground and constructing the first building at Antrim Township's new park are on the agenda this spring thanks to money from a new state grant.

Charles R. White, director of Tayamentasachta, Greencastle-Antrim School District's environmental center on Leitersburg Road, said a $26,000 grant will buy materials for the three projects, all of which will be built by crews of the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps.

The Corps is a statewide program that gives on-the-job experience and training to those 18 to 25 who have little work experience, White said.

"It ... gives them an opportunity to get some experience and a work ethic. Some of them haven't been able to get or keep a job," he said.

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The members can also take courses at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center and at area colleges, he said.

The crews have completed several major construction projects at Tayamentasachta. In 1998 they built a 30-by-60-foot activity and classroom building.

Last year they did some selective cutting of trees, planted 600 new trees, built picnic tables and stabilized the banks of a stream at the environmental center, White said.

Also last year they rebuilt retaining walls and brick sidewalks at the historic train station in Greencastle and built playground equipment at Enoch Brown Park in Antrim Township, White said.

Projects lined up for this year include completion of the spring house at Tayamentasachta, new restrooms at the Jerome R. King Playground and construction of a gazebo and hiking trails at Antrim Township's new 136-acre park being built on Grant Shook Road, White said. The gazebo will be the new park's first building, he said.

Most of the money from the grant will be used to buy materials for the playground restrooms, he said.

The spring house project will include building a blacksmith shop inside the structure, White said.

"It was once used as a blacksmith shop," he said.

Spring houses were a common site on 19th century farms. Usually built of stone, they protected the home's water source while their cold waters were used for refrigeration.

The spring house at Tayamentasachta was still standing when the school district bought the 60-acre, former Jacob Stover farm in 1966.

It was torn down for safety reasons, but some of its stones were saved for use in the reconstruction. Stones from old area limestone barns also will be used in the project. White said a new concrete foundation was built last year.

Mark Twain Noe, a Fulton County, Pa., artist who was commissioned by a Greencastle bank to do a series of paintings of local historic events and scenes, said he did a painting of the spring house from an old photograph.

White said Noe's painting will be included in the ceremony when the reconstructed spring house is dedicated.

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