York performing arts center investing millions in renovations

Nearly $4 million in capital renovations will be invested by the Appell Center for the Performing Arts in York.

The renovations to the center’s historic theaters and larger facility will be done this summer and include the following: 

  • Replacement of the HVAC system throughout the facility, including roof-top units, interior air management devices and system controls. State of the art bipolar ionization and air filtering technologies to provide the cleanest possible air to theater patrons will be included in the work.
  • Renovation of the Strand Theatre concessions areas, including new service equipment and beer taps, improved design, and accessibility. The improvements are expected to expand product options and improve service speed at events.
  • Replacement of aging exterior doors and installation of accessibility hardware. Many of the doors on the historic theaters date back 40 years or more. New doors are expected to improve climate efficiency and ease of use. Accessibility hardware will provide automatic opening of doors for those needing such assistance.

“Central to the mission of the Appell Center is to maintain our Strand and Capitol Theatres and provide the best possible experience for our performers and guests,” President and CEO Todd Fogdall said in a statement. “These renovations will address critical needs that underlie everything that happens within our walls.”

Wagman Construction and Heidler Roofing are the general contractors leading the work. 

Donations received during the Centennial Capital Campaign, which concluded in summer 2022, are funding the renovations. The funds include a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Long-serving Republican Gordner announces resignation from Pa. Senate

John R. Gordner, R-Columbia/Luzerne/Montour/Northumberland/Snyder, has announced his resignation from the Pennsylvania Senate. 

Gordner’s resignation becomes effective on Nov. 30, 2022. He has served 30 years in the Pennsylvania State House and State Senate. He called it “an honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the 109th Legislative District and the 27th Senatorial District.” 

Upon his recent reelection, Gordner said he had planned to serve until the end of his term in November 2024 and then retire. “However, I have been presented with a unique opportunity that, after much family discussion and consideration, I have decided to accept.” 

He said he is accepting this week a position that allows him to take full advantage of his 30-year legislative experience in the House and Senate along with his 35 years as an attorney. 

“Once again, I want to thank the residents of Columbia, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder counties that have supported me over the past 30 years.” 

District offices in Bloomsburg, Mount Carmel, and Shamokin Dam will remain fully operational during the vacancy. 

Most recently, Gordner announced three significant funding awards for his constituents. On Nov. 18, Snyder County business Live Edge USA, LLC was awarded a $2.5 million grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). 

Live Edge USA acquired a specialty hardwood lumber operation in rural Snyder County to grow its Brick Mill Furniture Company.  The project includes 10-times more kiln capacity, construction of additional lumber storage and upgrades to utilize wood waste and solar energy for heat and power.  The improvements are expected to grow the local workforce, and Gordner said the creation of additional jobs “will leave a lasting impact on the local economy.” 

Also on Nov. 18, a $2 million grant was awarded through RACP to DRIVE for the revitalization of the former Sunbury Hospital. The funds will be used to help renovate the facility by improving mechanical systems; updating interior floors, walls, and lighting; and the construction of various residential, commercial, and retail spaces. 

Gordner said the substantial state dollars will be used “to turn a closed facility into a useful space for businesses and residents.” 

On. Nov. 17, Columbia County was awarded $400,000 to assist in continuing efforts to protect the town of Bloomsburg from devastating flood events. Gordner remarked that the significant state dollars “set the stage for major improvements to current flood protections for the town of Bloomsburg. This includes the hopeful expansion of the flood wall in the west end upon completion of all impact studies and models.”

Five York County projects receive millions in funding

Funding totaling $13 million from Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program has been approved for five York County projects, state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, announced Monday. 

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a state grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. 


Hill-Evans said the projects mark a major investment by the state in the York region. “In the education, health, and economic sectors, these projects will have a lasting impact on our community, and I want to thank everyone involved who has helped make them happen.” 

The following projects have been awarded funding: 

  • $4.5 million to Northern York County Police Commission 
  • $4 million to York Country Day School 
  • $2 million to WellSpan York Hospital 
  • $2 million to the York County Economic Alliance 
  • $500,000 to LogosWorks 

The $4.5 million awarded to Northern York County Regional Police will provide for a new facility to increase staffing capacity, create a space for specialized police operations, and provide the facilities necessary to maintain the health and wellness of the department’s officers. 


The $4 million award for York Country Day School has been designated to build additional classrooms and multiple flex spaces to be used for specialized teachings, such as speech pathology and core subject acceleration and remediation. The classrooms will include pertinent technology for both in-school and remote instruction in addition to desks, chairs, and other project-based learning areas. 


The $2 million award to WellSpan York Hospital will be used to construct an additional 150 parking spaces and support WellSpan’s nine-story surgical and critical care tower expansion project. Hill-Evans stated that this project will improve access to advanced specialty care for complex conditions. 


The $2 million award to the York County Economic Alliance will fund the redevelopment of the former federal post office located in downtown York. Included in the redevelopment are facade improvements, stabilization and restoration of the interior structures, and preparation of the building for occupancy by a large anchor tenant. The construction process will look to restore historic features and maintain the historic integrity of the property wherever possible. 


The $500,000 award to LogosWorks will provide a staging facility designed to serve as a backbone structure connecting the under-resourced community to economic opportunities through direct programming and partnerships with nonprofits and businesses. The facility features classrooms, meeting rooms, a training center, a kitchen facility and a fitness/wellness center.

Dauphin County to benefit from RACP grants

Three grants totaling $9.25 million from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) have been awarded to fund projects that will serve Dauphin County. 

RACP is a state grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. 

“I am thrilled to announce these RACP grants that will benefit the region,” said Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin. “Such significant funding means we can continue to invest in Dauphin County, which also means investing in everyone who lives here.” 

Following are the RACP grants, award amounts, and the projects they will fund: 

  • FNB Stadium Upgrades ($6 million): Multiple components of the project include new field lighting and locker room renovations; a new building, on stilts, inside the stadium perimeter along the third base line that serves as the new home team clubhouse; the existing boardwalk will be expanded to provide more area for additional activities and local organizations to have concourse tables during games; and scoreboard replacement. 
  • Harrisburg University of Science & Technology ($1.75 million): Harrisburg University plans to construct new facilities for applied research, education, and workforce development focused on emerging technology sectors in food, agriculture, and environmental science. These facilities will house the HU Center for Advanced Agriculture and Sustainability, featuring education and workforce development programs alongside industry-oriented applied research and technical innovation. 
  • Pennsylvania STEAM Academy Rooftop Playground ($1.5 million). Pennsylvania Steam Academy will transform a portion of the rooftop of its Midtown Academic Building into a rooftop playground to provide an indoor play area for its elementary and middle school students. As an indoor, climate-controlled space, the project offers a safe and weatherproof play area for children located within the building and accessible year-round. A canopy of solar panels will provide filtered light and generate solar energy to partially power the school building. 

The grants are the latest rounds of funding to be awarded to Dauphin County.

Harrisburg, York community projects receive funding boost

Grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program will be used for community projects in Harrisburg and York, it was announced Friday. 

Funds were awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, a commonwealth grant program overseen by the Office of the Budget to assist with regional cultural, economic, civic, and historical projects that improve a community’s economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities. 

State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin County, announced that four grants totaling $8.8 million will be used for community projects in her district. “This funding is incredibly important for Harrisburg’s growth,” said Kim. “I am happy to see these projects get the funding they need to break ground.” 

State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York County, said three community projects in York County are receiving $3.5 million in grants from the Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program. Hill-Evans works with organizations in her district and those serving her district, encouraging them to submit grant applications. She also provides letters of support and follows up with state-level decision-makers to gain approval for the projects. 

Harrisburg projects to receive the funding include the following: 

  • $3 million to Reily GreenWorks for the development of studio lofts and apartments, as well as neighborhood-oriented retail on the ground floor. 
  • $1.5 million to Harrisburg Events Center to complete extensive renovations including the replacement of windows and doors, replacement of roof, conversion of third floor into a hospitality suite, and the renovation of the basement to include a kitchen, distribution office and meeting space. 
  • $2.75 million to Harristown Enterprise Inc. for the renovation of the Harristown Agriculture Building. This project entails substantial interior demolition and abatement of hazardous materials used in older building construction, as well as core and shell construction. 
  • $1.6 million to Millworks Historic Campus Preservation for the restoration of the restaurant and surrounding area. The restoration project will entail the rehabilitation of 1321 N. Fourth St., currently vacant, and the conversion of Sayford St. into an outdoor gathering space. 

York projects receiving funding include: 

  • $2 million to Crispus Attucks York to construct a History and Culture Center which will explore, document, and showcase the African American story and its impact on York City as well as African Americans’ important place in and contributions to American history. 
  • $500,00 to Precision Custom Components, LLC to renovate a portion of the deteriorated old manufacturing space at 160 North Hartley St. into usable manufacturing areas. When completed, this facility will be capable of manufacturing a variety of custom products for the defense and energy industries. 
  • $1 million to Zion Lutheran Church to redevelop the exterior and interior, create an event space, and extend the campus of the Yorktowne Hotel. Construction will include restoration of the interior vestibule, assembly hall, balcony, double curved stairways, cemetery vaults, wooden newel posts, balustrades, rib-vaulted ceilings and detailed wooden doors. 

Redevelopment project set for former Lemoyne Middle School

The Real Estate Collaborative LLC is moving into the next phase of a redevelopment project at the former Lemoyne Middle School.

The Real Estate Collaborative, a CAEDC subsidiary, has partnered with Mowery construction to redevelop the former Lemoyne Middle School in Cumberland County. (Photo: File)

The collaborative, a subsidiary of the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. (CAEDC), entered into an agreement Monday with Silver Spring Township-based contractor Mowery to purchase the property set to be developed into an apartment complex called The Lofts at 701 Market Street.

Mowery’s proposed plan calls for retaining most of the existing school building and preservation of the street facade. Anticipated additions and renovations to the complex include a new park pavilion and play space, outdoor patios, new apartments in the existing auditorium and gymnasium and a car ramp from Walnut Street to a lower parking level.

The development plan also includes a proposed commercial space for a coffee shop or a community kitchen, lawn space, short term parking and upper and lower level patio spaces.

“The Borough of Lemoyne is delighted that the former Lemoyne Middle School will soon have some new life breathed into it,” said Gale Gallo, Lemoyne Borough council president. “Mowery has proposed a unique apartment community, which we believe will bring a new dimension to the heart of our town.”

CAEDC created the Real Estate Collaborative (REC) in 2016 with a mission to create opportunities for investment in underutilized or blighted properties around Cumberland County.

REC was able to acquire the property and identify partners and resources to allow for the adaptive reuse of the building. The group was able to secure $1 million in funding from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to go towards the project.

A total cost of the project was not available.

The West Shore School District closed the Lemoyne Middle School at the end of the 2012-13 school year in an effort to cut costs. The school district sold the property to REC in 2017 for $450,000.

“REC’s behind-the-scenes work to get this site ready for redevelopment is nearly complete,” said Mason McClellan, CAEDC’s director of real estate development. “REC’s mission is to take on challenging sites that need expensive remediation and environmental work and get them ready for development, which is exactly what was achieved for the former Lemoyne Middle School.”

Central Pa. projects receive millions in state grants

More than two dozen projects in Central Pennsylvania were awarded millions of dollars in matching grants from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), supporting both public and private construction and renovation projects across the state.

The local grants are part of a broader package of grant awards $275 million for 214 projects statewide, according to a report released by the Office of the Budget.

Administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget, the RACP is designed to help acquire and construct improvement projects deemed to be of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and/or historical importance and can generate new increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues and other economic benefits.

In state Rep. Carol Hill-Evans’ York County district alone, three projects received nearly $10 million in matching grants, including $2 million for renovation at York County Libraries and $1.8 million for Royal Square Development and Construction as part of York’s

York College of Pennsylvania will get $6 million to convert three buildings that formerly housed the Smurfit-Stone containerboard factory at South Penn Street and Kings Mill Road into the Knowledge Park at York College of Pennsylvania, part of the school’s J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship business incubator program.

The King House, a historic manor house on the property, will be converted into an administrative support center for the complex, while the two large warehouses will be renovated for large meeting space, assembly and office areas.

“This new venture would allow us to grow our partnerships with companies, agencies, nonprofits or organizations that will provide programmatic connections to York College through student experiential-learning opportunities and collaboration with our faculty,” said York College President Pamela Gunter-Smith. “Joining forces with Knowledge Park partners gives us the opportunity to create a project-based learning laboratory on our campus.”

The $6 million grant to York College was the third-highest award among this year’s recipients, coming in behind an $8.5 million grant to Aramark Services to help relocate its corporate headquarters to the Schuylkill River corridor in Philadelphia and an $8 million grant to AmerisourceBergen Corp. to consolidate its drug wholesale business into a new building in Conshohocken, Montgomery County.

Other Central Pennsylvania projects include:

Cumberland County

  • Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redevelopment project: The Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority received $1 million to add a 5,500-square-foot addition and renovate 24,345 square feet of the existing building in Carlisle, reconfiguring studio and performance space to accommodate growth.
  • Former Lemoyne Middle School redevelopment project: REC LMS LLC, the developer of the former Lemoyne Middle School site at 701 Market St., collected $1 million for pre-development, demolition, abatement and site work costs to create a mixed-use development of about 17,500 square feet of commercial space and 30 townhomes.

Dauphin County

  • 320 Reily mixed-use development project: GreenWorks Development LLC received $2 million of an original $4 million request to install a 135,000-square-foot, five-story building with 135 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail on an existing parking lot at 320 Reily St. in Harrisburg.
  • Hershey Community Center construction: $2 million was awarded to the Township of Derry to construct a new community center on the site of the existing recreation center at 605 Cocoa Ave. The center will include thee different pools, including a competitive swimming pool, an indoor leisure pool and outdoor summer pool, along with a basketball gym.
  • Hummel Street redevelopment project: Tri-County Housing Development Corp. Ltd. received $500,000 toward the acquisition of 11 parcels on Hummel Street in Harrisburg and demolition costs, construction of new homes and the rehabilitation of existing homes.
  • Insulators Local Union 23 business unit expansion: The union purchased the former VFW Post 9639 location at 8926 Jonestown Rd., East Hanover Township, receiving $700,000 to renovate and add to the existing structure. Plans call for offices, an apprentice training center, and a new catering and banquet facility.
  • National Civil War Museum at Reservoir Park: The longstanding National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg received $2 million to acquire artifacts owned by the city and to conduct capital improvements at the museum, including exhibition upgrades, HVAC energy efficiency and walkway safety.
  • Shireman Tract park project: Lower Swatara Township received $300,000 to build two softball fields and stormwater management basins and to create a final land development plan on a 32-acre farm along Ebenezer and Longview Roads the township bought in 2017.
  • Steel Works redevelopment project: Integrated Development Partners LLC received $1.5 million to develop the Steel Works project along a six-block area of North Front Street in Steelton. The development comprises 65,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space and multi-level senior housing units.

Franklin County

  • Former Summit Health Campus expansion: Chambersburg Health Services was awarded $500,000 to expand its health campus on St. Paul Drive, adding a cancer treatment center. The grant will be used for site preparation costs, including soil erosion and stormwater management.

Lancaster County

  • Columbia Economic Development Initiative – Columbia Borough received $1.75 million to help re-establish a public farmer’s market at the Columbia Market House on South Third Street. The plan calls for adding a new restaurant, installation of a new HVAC system and parking improvements.
  • Ephrata Crossing development:  Property Investing and Management Inc. acquired $500,000 to help with construction costs of the proposed Ephrata Crossing development at the intersection of East Main Street (Route 322) and Pleasant Valley Road in Ephrata Township. Grant money for the mixed-use development is slated for curbing, sidewalks and excavation.
  • Lancaster City Fire Stations renovations:  Lancaster City received $500,000 for renovations at two different fire stations, modernizing on-duty staff’s living quarters and new hose towers to facilitate equipment drying and training.
  • Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic modernization: Located on North Lime Street, the headquarters of the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic will undergo extensive renovations with the help of a $1.2 million grant. Renovation plans call for room reconfiguration, moving the main entrance and new plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
  • Spartan Motors Lancaster County manufacturing plant expansion: Spartan Motors USA Inc., which makes specialty truck bodies and chassis at its West Earl Township plant, received $500,000 to upgrade the plant with building renovations and machinery upgrades.
  • Treasures Markets community revitalization plan: Treasures of Hope Foundation based in Lancaster was awarded $500,000 to help renovate properties on Queen and Franklin streets to open up a combination discount grocery store and thrift store.

Lebanon County

  • Market Square Transit Intermodal Center project: The City of Lebanon received $2 million to construct the Market Square Transit Intermodal Center on an existing parking lot near the intersection of Ninth and Cumberland streets that will consist of a three-story, 30,000-square-foot mixed-use building housing City Hall and lease space for businesses. The plan also includes adding a parking garage with 300 spaces.
  • WellSpan Health and Surgery Center project: WellSpan Health was awarded $500,000 to help in the construction of a new 80,000 square-foot surgery center at the intersection of Rocherty and Cornwall roads in North Cornwall Township. The new center is anticipated to include primary care, specialty care, surgical and ambulatory services similar to WellSpan’s recently opened facilities in York County.

Perry County

  • Perry Innovation Park Cogeneration Power Project: The Perry County Economic Development Corp. received $1 million to construct a new cogeneration power unit at the Penn Township complex. The unit consists of a combined heat and power system of approximately 2,500 kilowatts.

York County

  • Lidl Grocery Store construction: Lidl US Operations LLC was awarded $500,000 to help in the construction costs of a new store in the 3000 block of Carlisle Road in Dover Township. The location will mark the second Lidl to be constructed in York County.
  • York County Libraries capital project: A $2 million grant was given for capital improvement projects at libraries in York, Hellam Township and Red Lion, including building expansions, weatherization and layout reconfiguration.
  • York Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Education Southern Branch project: The York Jewish Community Center received $1 million to renovate the former TLC Montessori school in Springfield Township to serve as an early childhood education center, improving classrooms and adding a playground.
  • York’s Northern Gateway Station House project: Royal Square Development & Construction was given $1.8 million to renovate three properties within York’s northern entrance to the city on North George Street, providing mixed-use space for retail, restaurants and apartments.