PHASE I —2007
STRUCTURAL DEFECTS —The Orwigsburg Borough received a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to do repairs to the building, which included the removal of failed brick veneer, the repair and/or replacement of rotted wood, and the stabilization of the concrete block building. In addition, the doors, windows, and block cracks and all the concrete block surfaces were sealed.
PHASE II — 2008 to 2012
ENERGY EFFICIENCY — In February, 2008, the Orwigsburg Borough received a $100,000 grant from PA DCED. An additional energy grant in the amount of $_____ from PA Conservation Works was awarded to the Borough of Orwigsburg by the Department of Environmental Protection. Grant funding was used to install a state of the art geothermal/ solar HVAC system, as well as a solar panel supplement system, a new roof and energy efficient electrical system to make it as energy efficient as possible; plumbing system and renovations to the building to insure it was up to current code.
Additional funds included a $15,000 grant from the late State Senator James Rhoades; a $10,000 donation from the Orwigsburg Lions Club, a $2,500 donation from the Schuylkill County Medical Society and $15,000 from First Federal Charitable Foundation.
Phase III — 2013 to present
EXTERIOR/INTERIOR IMPROVEMENTS —In 2013, the Orwigsburg Borough received two ADCED grants. The first was received in March for $153,000 for the installation of a new roof structure and another in November 2013, $200,000 for exterior improvements including the installation and replacement of the building windows and the installation of a Dryvit, stucco like exterior finish.
In addition local and non-profit donations were received, which amounted to approximately $250,000 and fundraising events have contributed approximately $70,000 to the project. To date, in excess of $ 1.4 million has been raised and placed into the renovation of the Veterans Community Memorial Hall.
The removal of a portion of the exterior CMU (concrete masonry units) walls; the installation of a concrete bond beam to stabilize any movement of the building (which attributed to the original cracks in the bricks and CMU); new exterior walls were installed around the existing steel framing; and landscaping and hardscaping will conclude this phase of the project.
The future plans include completion of a small functional commercial kitchen; the completion of a new foyer entrance for the building; the construction of a second exterior basketball court, between the Veterans Community Memorial Hall and the Orwigsburg Little League Field; and additional youth playground and recreational equipment. We estimate that these additional improvements will cost approximately $500,000. For a complete history of the project, please click here.
The Cupola and the Clock
The Orwigsburg Veterans Memorial Development Taskforce, the Schuylkill Lodge #138 F & AM Masonic Lodge in Orwigsburg and the Advisory Board of the Penn State Schuylkill Campus coordinated their efforts to secure the return of the cupola which was on the 1912 Building at Rest Haven. It had originally been on top of the 1st Schuylkill County Courthouse located in Orwigsburg from 1816-1851.
The cupola project is part of a larger restoration project initiated by members of the Schuylkill Lodge #138 F & AM Masonic Lodge. The Masons have generously agreed to restore the clock that was originally located in the cupola that was atop the first Schuylkill County Courthouse, as their donation to the Memorial renovations. Upon restoration, the clock and cupola will be reunited, in the new entranceway of the Memorial. Not only are fund raising efforts by the members of the Masons helping to complete this project, but private dollars are needed as well. Click here to provide financial assistance to the Masons’ Cupola and Clock Restoration Project.
With our mission to honor and remember our Veterans at the heart of all of all our efforts, a major aspect of our project is the construction on the Veterans display area near the tank and in the new entryway. The Orwigsburg Veterans Memorial Development Taskforce members along with members of the 411th Engineer Brigade of U. S. Army volunteered to install a concrete pad and move the tank from the playground area to a new location across Grove Street from Veterans Community Memorial Hall.
Prior to Memorial Day 2015, a new 40’ flag pole was installed by tank and in the fall of 2015 lighting for the flag pole was installed. Additional flagpoles, memorial displays, a seating area, landscaping and a gathering feature in that area and also being planned.