The Borough and Downtown Shenandoah, Inc.(DSI) had a visit from Lt. Governor, John Fetterman, to learn about the Center for Education, Business & Arts (CEBA) project that DSI has planned. Officials from local, county and state government and partners with DSI that support this project also attended.
During a discussion in the DSI office, Lt Governor Fetterman noticed pictures of the borough's history. He commented on the history and industry that made the town. He said that his town still hosts the last remaining steel mill in western Pennsylvania and he lives across the street from it. Fetterman served as mayor of Braddock for four terms. He commented that there were many similar things about Shenandoah and Braddock, his community didn't even have an ATM when he took over as Mayor.
"The news I have for any community is that if his community can get better the way it has, you need to get on the right path."
The discussion included Karen Kenderdine, DSI President, state Senator, Dave Argall, state representative, Neal Goodman, Schuylkill County Commissioner, Gary Hess, Joseph Palubinsky, former Shenandoah Borough Manager, Julie Fitzpatrick Pennsylvania Downtown Director, Mary Beth Dougherty, Senator Argall aide, congressman Dan Meuser's aide,and representatives from Penn State Schuylkill, Mary Luscavage Executive Director of DSI and Michael Weiss recently hired by DSI as the Executive Director of the CEBA project.
"The fact that this project exists is because of the people around this table who have gotten behind the project," said Weiss.
Kenderdine told the history of the organization and the vision of and a dream of two individuals, the late Valerie Macdonald, and Eric Mika. "It was their vision to bring this community back to life."
Commissioner Hess praised the work of DSI and said, "The organization has been the model for others."
Karen Kenderdine explained the conceptual plan to the Lt. Governor and then the group walked over to the site. Kenderdine continued to explain the plan and how the back will look like a coal breaker to honor the industry that made the area great. She explained that the estimated cost is 12.5 million dollars for the four-story facility. The next step is raising funds beginning with the cost of the architectural design.
"These are important investments, and I am always here to support communities." Fetterman commented.
Fetterman expressed his interest and support and asked that he be contacted about progress on a regular basis. He said, "I have seen bad plans, I have seen good plans, and I have seen great plans. This seems like a great plan. It is well thought out. It seems like you have the vision and the leadership involved. Anything we can help to facilitate this, we want to be involved and a part of."
"These are the only kind of projects that can change a community trajectory." Fetterman added.