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Warehouse rebuilding nears finish

September 01, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - When Waynesboro Floor Covering's warehouse was destroyed in a fire in January, owner Chuck Morningstar was not sure he wanted to rebuild. He thought maybe it was time to retire.

Morningstar then found out that his son Victor, a sophomore majoring in business management at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, was interested in taking over the business, which had been in the family for two generations.

"(The business was) started by my father in 1964, moved here to this location (on North Church Street in Waynesboro) in 1980," Morningstar said. "I had built that warehouse in 1999, the one that burned, (and) I paid it off three weeks before the fire."

The process of rebuilding the warehouse, which is on Mulberry Avenue, began March 1.

"All the trim and everything on the front (of the warehouse) is going to be taken from photos of the original firehouse from the 1880s here in Waynesboro," Morningstar said.

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Morningstar got the idea for the facade of the building from an old picture he has of horse-drawn fire carriages.

"It was a little difficult for a building that was practically all doors on the front - I couldn't make it a retail shop," Morningstar said. "A fire hall came to mind, I got a thumbnail sketch together and sent it to the Pittsburgh architect (William Power Associates)."

The front of the building will have arched doorways and windows, a stucco finish and a step-down roof to resemble the firehouse, Morningstar said.

Other additions to the building include a third floor for storage and a third bay door for trucks, both of which increased the warehouse's size from 4,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet. The warehouse will have vinyl siding and an asphalt roof.

The rebuilding process is nearly complete except for the facade because Morningstar was waiting to hear if he received grant money from the state for Waynesboro's facade improvement program. The program matches property owners' restoration costs dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000. It is federal money funneled through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and Waynesboro's five-person design review committee.

However, Morningstar does not believe he will receive the grant because his rebuilding project is considered new construction and the grant is designed for the revitalization of existing buildings.

"We tried to see if the state would allow (the grant) for Mr. Morningstar as it was the result of a fire and was rebuilt," said Lloyd Hamberger, Waynesboro borough manager.

Even if he does not receive the grant, Morningstar still will finish the project. The total cost of the project will be about $175,000.

"I'll borrow some money and pay for it myself because I've already gotten this far," he said.

The fire that destroyed the warehouse on Jan. 23 was caused by a fire in the hood of one of the service vans.

The company lost $150,000 as a result of the fire, including vehicles, tools, equipment and inventory, Morningstar said.

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