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EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 2:43 AM

HARRISBURG | Development Thread
As of May 19, 2008:


The Harrisburg Development Page, brought to us by yosh. :tup:

wrightchr May 22, 2004 2:45 AM

hahahahahahahahahahaha :hilarious

wrightchr May 22, 2004 3:20 AM

hmmm...woudn't you consider hershey and lebanon part of this forum as well??? and maybe even carlisle???

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 3:24 AM

Yes. But the threads are pretty new and I think many people would be interested in them (especially the Hershey one), so I figured I would just leave them where they are. In the future they would be located here, though.

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 4:12 AM

VERY happy to see these improvements...


City of Harrisburg

King City Government Center
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1678
Telephone: 717.255.3040


21 May 2004


Harrisburg, PA—Mayor Stephen R. Reed today announced that additional intersections now have new traffic signals to handle increased traffic volume more safely. New signal lights have now been installed at Cameron and Calder Streets, Fifth and Walnut Streets, and at S. 19th and Sycamore Streets. Work also continues on the new intersection being created at 21st Street at State and Walnut Streets, which also includes new traffic signals when it is completed in late Summer. It is the first time any of these intersections have ever had signals.

Reed said the new lights are either fully operational or have been placed in flashing yellow in readiness for permanent use. The new lights are part of a larger effort commissioned by the Mayor to add or replace signals at 36 city intersections. The comprehensive signalization project involves not only new signals but also the replacement of older incandescent bulbs in existing signals with new LED signal heads, which shine brighter, require less electrical energy to operate, and last more than five times as long as older bulbs. The new lights will save an average of nearly $100,000 a year in energy savings once the project is fully completed.

The Mayor said the project also includes the installation of new flashing warning signs around various city public schools.

Reed said work on the Cameron and Calder Streets intersection, created in part because of heavier rush hour traffic congestion from nearby industrial and commercial facilities, was designed by Gannett-Fleming through PennDOT, with Herr Signal and Lighting providing the installation at a cost of approximately $100,000.

The 5th and Walnut Streets signal was also designed by Gannett Fleming with the work conducted by Carr and Duff, at a cost of $105,000.

The S. 19th and Sycamore work was done by Gannett Fleming and installed by Wyoming Electric and Signal, at a price of approximately $100,000.

Work is also well underway on the complete reconfiguration of the intersection at 21st and Walnut/State Streets to provide better access to Reservoir Park and its many facilities. New traffic signals at the intersection will also become operational later this summer. Design work on the new intersection was provided by Melham Associates, PC, and construction work is being conducted by Rogele Inc. at a project cost of $495,000. The traffic signals were designed for PennDOT by Grove Miller Engineering, Inc., and are being installed by Wyoming Electric and Signal at a cost of $121,000.

Reed said future work will include the resignalization of five intersections on Maclay Street, from Front to 6th Streets; three intersections on 13th Street from Walnut to Sycamore Streets, five intersections on 6th Street from Verbeke to Division Streets, six intersections on 17th Street from Herr to Brookwood Streets, and four intersections on Market Street from 13th to 25th Streets.

In the past two years, new traffic signals have been placed at the main entrance to the Kline Plaza shopping center, on Pine Street at Front and Second Streets, and on Locust Street at 2nd and 3rd Streets. Further, two intersections on Derry Street, at 13th and 17th Streets, have had upgraded signals to allow for turning lanes due to higher traffic volume.

Reed said that there will be new traffic signals at 36 intersections when all work is completed, providing far greater efficiency in traffic movement that will save fuel costs and time, while enhancing traffic safety.

The Mayor said federal funds have been earmarked to cover the costs of design, equipment and installation for the program, which has received approval from PennDOT and the Harrisburg Area Transportation Study Group. The city is administering the design and related work.

Following a competitive proposal process, the firm of Herbert Rowland and Grubic has been designated to do the extensive design and planning work for these additional intersections under a design contract for $549,632.

Separately, in connection with the upcoming widening of N. 7th Street from Reily to Maclay Streets, taking the major corridor from two to four lanes, new traffic signals will be installed on N. 7th Street at Reily and Maclay Streets.

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 4:16 AM

I must admit, I was a bit negative towards the whole Cow Parade thing. But after I saw them all over the city, I totally changed my stance. What a great thing to have here!!! And btw, HBG is the first city this size to get it (it's usually only in the larger cities). Kudos to the person(s) who got this here, and I hope to see it back again. :tup:

wrightchr May 22, 2004 4:44 AM

great project...these signals really need replaced and updated. new signals at certain locations are greatly needed IMO.

wrightchr May 22, 2004 10:00 AM

oh yeah...HERE i got an article too. it's from WHP21 at

<b>Wild West Museum Update</b>
While Mayor Stephen Reed still remains quiet over the issue, some other city officials are speaking out. One of them says the mayor tried planning the museum in good faith, in an effort to help the city.

As Chris Schaffer reports, a councilwoman feels this is a lose-lose situation.

Among Mayor Stephen Reed's collection of old west artifacts, a gun owned by the man who made his last stand at Little Big Horn. The Mayor hoped to buy dozens of artifacts from the "Custer Battlefield Trading Post", spending almost $200,000. But the items were never delivered.

Now Mayor Reed is targeting the owner, James "Putt" Thompson with a lawsuit.

Fred Clark of the Harrisburg Authority Board:
"These are some of the pitfalls that go into creating economic development opportunities; be it a hotel, be it a parking garage, be it a museum"

But "Putt" Thompson says he had a deal to sell the city $283,000 of merchandise and he won't refund the money or release the items until he's paid in full.

"They shook hands, on a $283,000 deal. They waited a year and a half to cancel part of that, that's not right"

City Councilwoman Linda Thompson, who never supported the idea of a Wild West Museum, does support the Mayor's effort to get the money back.

Linda Thompson of the Harrisburg City Council:
"Now we gotta pay to fight a lawsuit, and whether we win or not the fact of the matter is we're spending extra money that could be used somewhere else"

The head of the Harrisburg Authority Board, which originally approved Mayor Reed's spending on old west artifacts, predicts the lawsuit will eventually be settled.

"Knowing the mayor and negotiating with these types of transactions, it's always gonna be in the best interests of the city"

But dealing with "Putt" Thompson won't be easy.

"I don't see how I can back down now - they're calling me a thief"

In February, the Mayor announced plans for the Wild West Museum would be put on hold. At the same time he announced the city would begin a comprehensive tourism plan funded by the sale of many of those old west artifacts.

wrightchr May 22, 2004 10:09 AM

this is pretty interesting...since i'm in the army national guard and much of my time is spent at the Gap training. this deal makes sense to me, especially sine i'm also an avid outdoorsman. 1,800 acres is A LOT of land.

<b>Land Swap Proposal</b>

The National Guard proposed buying 1,800 acres of land near the Dehart Reservoir from the Harrisburg Water Authority, and then swapping that parcel of land for game lands bordering Fort Indiantown Gap.

The Guard says it needs the land to expand bombing ranges, and the swap would also help sportsmen.

Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver, Ft. Indiantown Gap:
“This land swap will involve adjoining gameland 211 with 21 and make the largest gameland in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Some residents have reservations.

Tom McKinney of Mt. Joy:
“What are the plans, not just for now, but for the future, also is there something that could happen five years from now or something in the future that'll have a negative impact?”

A final decision about the potential land swap is still several months away.

wrightchr May 22, 2004 10:18 AM

Dave you were on the city website earlier and I can't believe you didn't post this...your slipping man! I'm like all hyped up now...this project looks very worthwhile.

Harrisburg, PA—Inspired by the Auburn University College of Architecture’s Rural Studio, Harrisburg Mayor Stephen R. Reed today announced the formation of the Harrisburg Urban Studio Task Force to help improve the City’s neighbor-hoods with architecture.

In 1993 a group of Auburn architecture professors led by Samuel Mockbee founded the Rural Studio as a way to improve community and living conditions in Alabama’s poorest rural counties while providing architecture students with a practical design-build learning environment.

Mayor Reed said the goal is to now apply the Rural Studio’s philosophy to an urban setting. “Through architecture, Auburn University’s students and professors have vastly improved the communities and lives of people in one of the country’s poorest regions. This is a concept that can be applied anywhere,” he said.

During a televised panel discussion following the April 7 airing of “The Rural Studio Film,” on WITF-TV, Mayor Reed offered a challenge to leaders in the architectural design-build community.

“They were asked to help us create the Harrisburg Urban Studio and improve neighborhoods in the state capital,” Mayor Reed said. “Thanks to their initially expressed interest, we have now formed the Harrisburg Urban Studio Task Force.”

The Task Force consists of Bruce Lindsey, head of the Rural Studio at Auburn University; Dianne Nicholas, Associate Professor of Architecture, Temple University; Caru Bowns, PhD, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Penn State University; Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Associate Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; Anthony Viscardi, Associate Professor of Architecture, Lehigh University; Brad Guy, Associate Director of the Hamer Center for Community Design Assistance at Penn State University; David Morrison, Assistant to the President, Harrisburg Area Community College; and Terri Martini, Director of the City of Harrisburg’s Department of Building and Housing Development.

The architectural leaders on the task force will combine their talents and ideas to form strategies for the Harrisburg Urban Studio, which is a part of Mayor Reed’s Harrisburg Urban Studio Initiative program. Robert Philbin, Director of the Harrisburg Urban Initiative and a noted midstate business executive will serve as the coordinator of the task force.

For more information regarding the Harrisburg Urban Initiative or Mayor Reed’s Urban Studio, please contact Nathan Pigott at (717) 975.2148,, or visit the Hershey Philbin Associates newsroom at

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 2:11 PM

Hey that's pretty cool!!! I totally missed that one, Chris, thanks for posting. I think I am going to post this one in the Southern section for Randy Sandford, who is a big fan of Auburn. :)

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 2:15 PM

Make intersection safer now, woman urges

Saturday, May 22, 2004
For The Patriot-News

During her 10 years living at 1901 Market St., Cassandra James said, she has suffered through 14 vehicles running the red light on the traffic signal outside her house and swerving onto her property.

One ran up a short bank and onto her front porch, two have hit the corner of her house, and several have hit the retaining wall she built to keep the intruders out.

"They can't see the stoplight," she said, pointing at the roughly 12-foot-tall traffic signal on the corner of 19th and Market streets.

She has jumped through all the legal hoops she can, she said, but hasn't seen the results she wants: A traffic signal suspended over the intersection and signs alerting motorists of the light ahead.

To call attention to the trouble spot, James and members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform, known as ACORN, are taking to the streets. They are planning to block the intersection at 1 p.m. today.

Their goal is to stay until City Engineer Joseph Link meets with them to resolve the issue.

Link said the intersection will get a hanging traffic signal, but it may take some time.

"That project is already approved, already funded, already under design," he said. "It's just a matter of time."

The new signal should come in about a year, with signals on Maclay Street scheduled for installation first, followed by some on Market.

About $2.5 million dollars will be spent on improving traffic signals in more than 20 intersections in the city, with the devices costing $100,000 to $125,000 apiece.

Residents say the 19th and Market streets' intersection needs to be improved sooner. It's a high-traffic area, a few blocks from Bishop McDevitt High School and several other elementary schools, James said.

James knows the improvements are planned, but wants the new signal installed now.

"I think human lives have priority," she said.

For now, James, a foster mother who at times has had three to five children live with her, still can't help but repeatedly look at the traffic.

"I don't let my kids come out here," she said. "I don't even like them on the porch."

In fact, James says she is moving to Florida soon. But she said she wants to make a final stand.

"I don't feel like getting in a big battle I can't finish," she said, "but I would like one last gut punch before I go."

EastSideHBG May 22, 2004 2:18 PM

Ah yes, yet another bank trying to conquer the world!!! The fast gorwth rate is not a good thing IMO. Sometimes a business can just grow too fast, and this creates a somewhat chaotic atmosphere and the customers/services get lost in the shuffle.

Commerce Bank plans more growth

Saturday, May 22, 2004
Of The Patriot-News

Commerce Bank/Harrisburg plans to build three branches this year and four more next year as it aims to double the number of offices it operates and more than triple its deposits by 2009.

The expansion will take place through construction, not acquisitions.

"We don't try to buy anyone else's junk and remodel it," Gary Nalbandian, chairman and CEO, said at the bank's annual meeting yesterday at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel & Convention Center in East Pennsboro Twp.

Commerce Bank, the retail banking unit of Pennsylvania Commerce Bancorp, expects to open branches this year in York, Lebanon and Reading. The bank has 23 offices and $937 million in deposits. It plans to have 54 offices and $3.4 billion in deposits by 2009.

Over the next several years, Commerce plans to add more branches in the Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg and Middletown areas, "and then we start to look at the world," Nalbandian said.

He explained that the world, from Commerce's standpoint, includes Lancaster and State College.

Commerce Bank shares the same business model as its larger affiliate, Commerce Bancorp Inc. in Cherry Hill, N.J. The banks have the same red "C" logo, advertising campaign and architectural firm, InterArch, which is owned by Shirley Hill, wife of Vernon Hill, chairman and CEO of Commerce Bancorp in New Jersey.

Vernon Hill and his business affiliates are the largest shareholder in Pennsylvania Commerce Bancorp, with a 14 percent stake.

Neither bank grows through acquisitions, Nalbandian said after the meeting. Instead, they build branches after researching the targeted areas and the deposit shares of nearby competitors, he said.

Starting June 1, investors who buy Pennsylvania Commerce Bancorp stock through the bank's stock-purchase plan will be eligible to buy shares valued up to $5,000 every month at a 3 percent discount. Currently, investors can buy stock through the program once every three months.

EastSideHBG May 23, 2004 2:50 PM

Pretty neat when you think about how far our paper has come. There is no denying the quality of it went way up over the last few years. There was a time when the stories weren't accurate, were terribly written, there wasn't much in the paper, etc. Not anymore!!! :tup:

Paper accumulates statewide honors

Array includes 2nd win by reporter of PNA Distinguished Writing Award

Sunday, May 23, 2004
Of The Patriot-News

The Patriot-News eclipsed the state's largest newspapers, garnering more journalism awards this year than any other paper in its division, including the award for best writer in the state.

The Harrisburg-based newspaper won a combined 24 awards in two of the state's most-prestigious journalism competitions.

The Patriot-News picked up the Division I Sweepstakes Award at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Keystone Press Awards banquet in State College last night. The honor goes to the newspaper that earns the most awards in its division.

On Friday night, Patriot-News reporters, editors and photographers accepted awards for excellence in the 2004 Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Writing and Photo Awards competition.

In both competitions, Patriot-News stories, photos and design were pitted against The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, which have larger staffs than The Patriot-News.

Patriot-News staff writer Jim Lewis won PNA's Distinguished Writing Award, a distinction he previously captured in 2001. Lewis gripped judges with stories on everyday people in trying circumstances, describing their dilemmas in a style that allowed readers to imagine their suffering.

"We're the smallest paper in that category. It's just a reflection of the kind of paper we now have and the paper we give our readers every day," said John Kirkpatrick, Patriot-News publisher.

Kirkpatrick and some of the paper's editors, reporters and photographers basked in last night's accolades at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel.

"Some papers do stories that they think will win awards. I'm not knocking that. One reason I'm delighted that we won the sweepstakes award this year is because we think a lot, not about contests, but about stories readers are really interested in," said David Newhouse, The Patriot-News executive editor.

"The stories that won for us are exactly those kinds of stories," he said.

For instance, a story about the mystifying murder of Randi Trimble, an East Pennsboro woman whose husband and his co-worker were eventually convicted in her death, won first place in the ongoing news category for staff writers Pete Shellem, Joe Elias, Matt Miller, Jerry Gleason, Frank Cozzoli and Daniel Sheehan.

A 17-year Patriot-News reporter, Lewis won best writer in the state based on a portfolio of stories, including his narrative of Margaret Sharar, whose cookies were legendary before she died at 83. Lewis revealed a fantastic twist in his story and forever sealed the New Cumberland woman's baking reputation. Her family, Lewis wrote, had buried Sharar's cremated remains in her cookie jar.

"I think what I do best is listen, and I end up getting something I didn't think I'd get going into a story," Lewis said.

The Patriot-News took seven first-place Keystone honors, six second-place awards and won an honorable mention for news-beat reporting.

John Curley, former president, chairman and CEO of Gannett Co. and USA Today's first editor, said The Patriot-News' seven, strategically placed bureaus generate thorough news coverage for the paper's readers.

Patriot-News' stories about traffic problems on Interstate 81 and worries about West Nile in the midstate represent diligent daily journalism.

"I think many judges look at how a paper does day in and day out," Curley said.

The Patriot-News also does a better job than any paper in the state, he said, at unearthing local readers' connections to national events, often interviewing residents from four or five counties to do so.

Three years ago, the 150-year-old Patriot-News got a new look when the production department moved from Harrisburg to a $60 million Hampden Twp. facility, which housed a new Goss Colorliner press.

Curley said the paper's look "sort of came together in a graphic sense," with eye-catching promotional boxes on the front page.

Photo production is sharper, too.

Keystone judges bestowed awards on photos from photographers Amiran White and Gary Dwight-Miller.

Photos from White and Christopher Millette also drew 2004 Pennsylvania APME honors.

Newhouse noted that the numerous awards aren't for work from a small group of celebrity journalists.

"You don't win this many awards unless everyone in the newsroom is pulling together every day to do good work," he said.

wrightchr May 24, 2004 1:12 PM

you know...i still critique the patriot for not being a top newspaper but maybe they have improved somewhat over the years. i still think harrisburg needs another daily/sunday newspaper to compete with them though. better competition will lead to better news IMO. it can only be a good thing. there is room for expansion and another paper...the patriot sells something like 250,000 daily and nearly 400,000 sunday papers. that's a pretty big subscription rate IMO, although i'm not sure how it would compare to the post-gazette or the philly newspapers.

EastSideHBG May 26, 2004 3:54 PM

I really like the Patriot, but I do think it could use a little competition. Want to start something with me, Chris? ;)

EastSideHBG May 26, 2004 4:02 PM

So this is where my tax money is going!!! I sure hope the kids who go there appreciate what they have. When I was there we had NO A/C, the auditorium was falling apart (it was actually condemned a year or so after I graduated), we were JAMMED into the classrooms (if I remember correctly, we were 300+ kids over the maximum limit my senior yr.), etc.

Ladies and gentleman, I bring you Cumberland Valley East. ;)

New CD High School has TV studio, 2 gyms

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Of The Patriot-News

The new Central Dauphin High School in West Hanover Twp. looks, smells and feels just that -- new.

The scent of paint hangs near office doors freshly trimmed in Ram green. There are no scratches, dings or warped-metal bubbles along the rows of lockers lining the halls. The media center includes space for 60 computers and a television studio.

It's attractive, but without a crush of students wandering through the nearly finished classrooms, cafeteria and stairwells, the building seems a bit naked.

That will change in August, when 1,959 students walk through the doors to usher in the new era of Central Dauphin High School. The old high school in Lower Paxton Twp. will become Central Dauphin Middle School.

"It already feels like Central Dauphin High School," Principal Richard Mazzatesta said as he toured the school yesterday with school officials.

"The kids want to come here as badly as the rest of us," he added.

Construction of the school began in October 2002 after years of talk about replacing the old high school, built in 1955. Overcrowding has been a problem at Central Dauphin and East high schools for years.

But plans for the new school were delayed a year by the board's switch from having three high schools in the district to two high schools.

The West Hanover Twp. school is expected to cost $53.3 million, including construction, contingencies, architect fees and furniture. Construction alone is expected to run $39.5 million.

The new Central Dauphin, slated to be completed by Aug. 15, includes more than 100 classrooms, a 1,000-seat auditorium and two gyms, the larger with seating for 2,000 people.

The cafeteria, with space for almost 600 students, will include round tables and cooking stations fashioned with a "grab-and-go" theme.

The two-story building boasts sweeping views of nearby hills, including floor-to-ceiling windows in the media center and cafeteria.

Visitors to the school must enter through the school office. Cameras will be placed inside and outside.

In case of emergency, Bramer said, the school can be locked down.

Similar upgrades are underway at Central Dauphin East High School, which is in the middle of a $21.96-million renovation and addition project, expected to be completed this fall.

"Programs at both schools were built to be 100 percent identical," said Gail Bramer, the district's clerk of the works.

About 5 percent of the district's 12,000 pupils ended up in different high school boundaries because of the projects.

Superintendent Barbara Hasson said in the past about 55 percent of the district's high school students attended Central Dauphin, with the rest at East High School.

Hasson said students at both high schools whose attendance boundary changed were given the option of staying at their old school.

Those with eighth- grade siblings had the same opportunity. About 200 students were affected by these options, but the district is determining how many students opted to move to their new school.

Some parents have complained about the attendance boundaries, saying the changes are creating racially and socioeconomically unbalanced high schools.

wrightchr May 26, 2004 8:37 PM


Some parents have complained about the attendance boundaries, saying the changes are creating racially and socioeconomically unbalanced high schools.
Dave, did you think this was true when you were going there? It seems to me that all the suburban kids will be going to the new school and the mostly urban areas will feed into East. I think I would have preferred the three high school option...which would have really broken things up and not developed these freakin EDUCATIONAL PARKS that make kids numbers and not real students.

On a side note...I would be happy to join you in the crusade to run the Patriot-News out of business by starting our own brand :)

shakman May 27, 2004 3:46 AM


How is that new office tower coming along? Any pics of construction?

How about the other proposals and construction in Downtown?

EastSideHBG May 27, 2004 2:15 PM


Originally Posted by wrightchr
Dave, did you think this was true when you were going there? It seems to me that all the suburban kids will be going to the new school and the mostly urban areas will feed into East. I think I would have preferred the three high school option...which would have really broken things up and not developed these freakin EDUCATIONAL PARKS that make kids numbers and not real students.

Oh it's definitely true. The funny thing is if I was still in HS, I would be going to East now, even though I am MUCH closer to the new school. Yet the neighborhood right over the hill from me will be at the new school. My neighborhood is mostly lower/middle middle-class and the one over the hill from me is upper-class. Hmmm...funny, isn't it?

Did you know that the NAACP got involved last year when the district was drawing the new lines? A group of parents noticed that kids with higher test scores were going to the new school and kids with the lower scores were going to East, even though the same kids once went to the opposite school. Needless to say, the district was forced to make some changes.

I too think a 3rd HS would've been a better option. I don't like the fact that you will now have kids coming from an urban and semi-urban environment and putting them in a more rural setting. At CD we could walk to a lot of things and you felt like you were part of the whole in the community; it's location kept you connected. Many of us came from the dense neighborhoods in the Colonial Park area. Now you want to put these same kids on the busy intersection that is Linglestown/Piketown Rd.? Doens't make much sense to me....

I also think they should have demolished the current CD HS and rebuilt on that spot. Why not? We all know that building is in shambles, and it will have to be done somtime.


On a side note...I would be happy to join you in the crusade to run the Patriot-News out of business by starting our own brand :)
Oh I don't want to run them out of business, I just want to give them some friendly (yet fierce) competition. :)


Originally Posted by shakman

How is that new office tower coming along? Any pics of construction?

How about the other proposals and construction in Downtown?

I took some pics weeks ago of the construction, and I am going to be doing a progress thread on it soon. In the meantime, take a look at mrherodotus' thread in City Photos. You can see some of the progress in a few of them:

As for other projects, there is quite a bit going on. As things would develop I would post the info. on here, so run a search and see what is still out there. But from now on this thread will be your best resource so check back often. :)

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