West Chester Weekly News Roundup

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It’s all coming up roses (thanks in no small part to all this rain.)

With so much going on around town. Catch up on what you may have missed.  

It’s Friday, May 31, a new month is at our doorstep. What have you got planned? West Chester is busy growing and this week we get an update on the Mosteller project and the repaving of Gay St. Plus, the property tax increase becomes official, the borough has a new pet-centric event and what to do about all those late-night fireworks? Grab a lemonade, it’s time to get started.  

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The Gay Street hole formerly known as the Mosteller Building.

“You’ll be able see it coming out of the ground and up above Gay Street.”

-Eli Kahn, builder 44 West, formerly the Mosteller building

Mosteller update. It sounds like it won’t be too long before that massive hole downtown on Church and Gay is filled. In an project update published this week in the Daily Local, builder Eli Kahn reports the steel infrastructure should be erected within the next three weeks. The project, which will be called 44 West when complete, is on schedule to wrap March 1, just in time for the 2020 spring season.

Speaking of Gay Street… road work on East Gay Street is complete and the road is being repaved. Hallelujah. Of course there’s still the Mosteller/44 West project and the ongoing Aqua work but, hey, progress… 

Tax increase confirmed. It’s official property taxes will be going up 1.8 percent next year. The news was foreshadowed last month when the School District released their 2019 budget proposal. The increased revenue will be used to cover pension requirements, future staffing needs and rising special education and transportation costs.

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West Chester’s green roof. It’s hard to tell from the picture but what a very cool concept for a garage.

The green to green commercial spaces. Chester County has approved a loan program that allows companies access to low-cost, long-term financing to complete sustainability projects like efficiency upgrades. Chester County is the first county in the Southeastern PA region to adopt the program. Hey business owners, time to take up those green updates you’ve been wanting! 

Come in, the water’s nice. Pools across West Chester are officially open. If you haven’t solidified your pool plans yet, don’t worry, several area pools including: Waterview, the YMCA, ACAC and West Chester Country Club still have openings. But don’t wait too long with temps already in the upper 80s the summer season is upon us.

Need help deciding on a pool? Here’s my research on the subject.

The response to the Call for Art was incredible.”

-West Chester Public Arts Commission

New banners to be installed downtown. The West Chester Public Arts Commission has selected their winners for the new architecture themed banners. According to the borough website, “The response to the Call for Art was incredible, and we are all very excited about the wonderful works of art to be installed downtown this Summer.” (I did email them for details but they are not too attentive to their inbox.)

Grab the popcorn, classic Movie Monday is back. Uptown is continuing its tradition of featuring classic movies at reasonable prices this summer. Movie nights start on Monday with Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Also on the calendar “Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (with costume party), Blazing Saddles (with costume party – kidding, but there should be), Apollo 11 documentary and, my favorite, A Few Good Men. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door.

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At the conclusion of what has been a very wet week. Hopefully we’ll get some sunshine to dry things out before the rain begins again.

Is that original? So apparently the Historic & Architectural Review Board (HARB) has to improve every, and I mean every, project that goes on in West Chester’s historic district. I happened upon their agenda yesterday and I found it so interesting. Like, did you know Jaco Juice wants to install a second awning? Or that the Star of India would like to replace their sign? Or that Oscar Lasko YMCA is planning to replace the siding at the rear of the building? Well, now you do.     

People who play sports (or tried them briefly and decided it just wasn’t for them). West Chester United Soccer Club will be collecting gently used soccer equipment this weekend at Thornbury Soccer Park. They are looking for jerseys, cleats, shinguards and balls.  

The warnings. Watch where you’re firing that thing. Ever since fireworks were made legal last year there has been concern over firework activity in the borough which has ramped up again with the warm weather. A lengthy discussion on NextDoor has neighbors debating the best course of action. One recommendation, persistence. “If everyone who hears it calls the police every time they hear it this issue is more likely to get the attention it deserves,” advised one neighbor on Nextdoor. And just a reminder all fireworks are not legal. The new law allows for commercial grade fireworks with up to 50 milligrams of explosive material. Think bottle rockets and and roman candles not M-80s.

The accolades. Shoutouts to the boys at Henderson High School that captivated audiences during the annual D. Webster Meredith Boys Public Speaking Contest. The boys presented a dramatic reading of a literary text to an auditorium full of parents, teachers, classmates and the community as a whole. Nearly 100 students entered the competition with the top eight reading their selections live. According to the WCASD website, the competition is one of the longest running in the district dating back to 1890. A similar event for girls is held in the fall.

Also kickin’ it, former Mary C. Howse teacher Lindsey Renninger Schuster. She recently launched her own clothing line. This is addition to her successful MotherChic blog. The clothes are available through Nordstrom and Macy’s.  

Speaking of cool teachers, students at Henderson now have the opportunity to vote for their coolest teacher to be recognized on Monday’s Preston and Steve morning radio show. Students at Rustin selected their coolest teacher a couple of weeks ago bestowing the honor on social studies teacher Brad Harkins. Schools are selected at random to participate so it is unknown if East students will get a chance to vote. The winning teacher will be announced Monday morning on the show.  

Finally congratulations to all the seniors graduating this week. Thirteen years of school is no easy task – be proud of yourself!

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The freakin’ weekend. What are you up to this weekend? If the weather cooperates I plan to make it to the pool this weekend. Plus, is it too late to plant a garden? I have some plants in but I would like to add a couple more. We shall see. Need ideas? I’ve got more.  

Mark your calendar:

  • Happy Hour on the Terrace, West Chester Library, $10/ticket, May 31 (Local authors edition)
  • Up on the Roof, Chestnut Street Garage, June 1
  • Bark in the Park, Hoopes Park, June 2
  • WCU Poetry Conference, The Poetry Center, June 5-8
  • Swinging Summer Thursday starts June 6
  • East High School Graduation, June 4
  • Rustin High School Graduation, June 5
  • Henderson High School Graduation, June 6
  • First Friday, June 7
  • Strawberry Shortcake Festival, The Growers Market, June 8
  • Summer Reading Kickoff Party, West Chester Public Library, June 8

This is one’s for the pet lovers. West Chester Park and Rec is hosting the first-ever Bark in the Park at Hoopes Park on Sunday. This all-pet event is free and will feature training presentations, a costume contest, on-site adoptions and an opportunity to get your pet microchipped. For the humans there will be food trucks and a moonbounce (for the little humans). All pets must be on a short, non-retractable leash.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the sunshine, it is unclear how long it will last. If you missed it here is last week’s Round Up, and the Library kicks off its summer reading program next weekend. Not a reader, here are 9 other things you can do/get from the library and the trick to getting into its popular story time.

Don’t follow the blog? Do it now. And I’ll see you next week. Thanks for visiting.

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