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Greencastle chamber building to receive facelift

April 22, 2001

Greencastle chamber building to receive facelift



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Twenty-three new windows and some spiffy new siding will give the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce office a much needed facelift, the chamber's executive director said.

"This building has needed to be renovated for a long time," said Dana Given, who runs the chamber office at 217 E. Baltimore St.

The chamber bought the building five years ago. The agency moved from cramped quarters on West Baltimore Street. Before that the chamber, which was organized in 1955, operated from a rented desk in the office of the Echo Pilot, a local weekly newspaper.

The chamber building was occupied by Henry's Floor Covering at the time of the sale, Given said. That business moved to South Antrim Way, she said.

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The chamber bought the building with help from a $10,000 donation from the Greencastle-Antrim Area Development Corp. The mortgage runs to 2015, Given said.

The only major renovations done to the building since the chamber bought it were in the executive director's office. Given was hired for that post in May 1999. Since then membership has grown by 30 percent to nearly 300 members, she said.

Money to pay for the new work is part of an $85,000 Pennsylvania Conservation Corps (PCC) grant. The money will be shared by the chamber, the Greencastle-Antrim School District and Antrim Township, said Charles White, director of Tayamentasachta, the school district's environmental education farm.

White and Hal Myers, a chamber board member, worked up the grant proposal.

Tayamentasachta will use its share for a new roof over a pavilion and renovation of a log cabin. The township will spend its share on the new 136-acre community park off Grant Shook Road.

The grant will pay for all of the labor for the PCC crews that will do the work and 75 percent of the materials needed to do the projects, Given said. PCC is a state-sponsored program in which young people learn building trade skills through hands-on training.

Given estimates that the chamber will have to raise $5,000 to cover its share of the renovation project. She'd like to raise even more to build up a special fund that will finance future renovation projects in the century-old chamber building.

The restroom needs updating. An even bigger project will be renovating the large back room that serves as the board's meeting room.

It served well as a storage area when the building was a floor-covering shop but its bare concrete floor and spartan painted walls do not create a suitable meeting place, she said.

Given said carpeting, panel walls and a small kitchen area would turn the back room into a fine conference room as well as provide space for use by community groups.

"It would be nice to have finished walls and something other than a concrete floor," Given said. Air conditioning would be nice too, she said.

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