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Crew works to repair Greencastle's Center Square

March 06, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • A crew from Ralph E. Tolbert Masonry in Chambersburg, Pa., works Tuesday to restore Center Square in Greencastle, Pa. The square was damaged in a Feb. 24 vehicle accident.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — It wasn’t the first time a car had slammed into Greencastle’s historic Center Square.

But the damage caused by a Feb. 24 accident has been called the worst destruction in the landmark’s history.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Greencastle Borough Council President Charles Eckstine said.

“I was surprised (by the damage),” borough council Vice President Harry Foley said. “It appeared as a very large truck or an 18-wheeler hit it.”

Debbie J. Hoffman, 54, of Hagerstown, was charged with driving under the influence and other traffic violations after her 2008 Ford pickup truck struck the stone planter in the center of the square on Feb. 24 at 11:35 p.m., according to Greencastle police.

Hoffman’s blood-alcohol content was .22, police said.

The square has been a mainstay of the borough for more than 60 years.

“It just wouldn’t be the same without it (the square),” Eckstine said.

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Since March 2, a three-man crew from Ralph E. Tolbert Masonry in Chambersburg, Pa., has worked eight-hour days to restore the landmark.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve fixed it,” said Steve Gossert, foreman of the crew. “This is my third time, but I know it’s been hit a lot more.”

The crew expects to complete work on the square by the end of the week.

When asked if the square would look as good as before, Gossert said, “It will look even better than before.”

Foley, 67, has fond memories of seeing Center Square as a young boy.

“What we feel about the square and the clock tower is hard to put into words, but they are part of what Greencastle is all about,” he said. “It’s a landmark. It’s nice to see aesthetically, but it’s also a great way to control the speed of traffic going through the square.”

There were no details on the cost of restoring the square. Borough officials said in the past, the borough has proceeded with repairs and then billed the insurance company of the person who was responsible for the damage.

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