Phoenixville celebrates groundbreaking of new borough hall

Photo by Heather Tyrrell Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell, Council members Christopher Bauers, James Kovaleski, David Gautreau, Kyle Guie, Council President Richard Kirkner, Council Member Dana Dugan, Council Vice President Michael Speck and Council member Jennifer Mayo

PHOENIXVILLE — County and borough officials, joined by the Phoenixville Police and Fire departments and other community members, celebrated the groundbreaking of the new borough hall on Monday at 351 E. Bridge St.

Before borough leaders put on their hard hats and picked up their shovels, several borough council members and the Chester County commissioners shared some words about the building that has been planned for quite some time. Many meetings and discussions had led to the groundbreaking of the building including a feasibility study completed in 2010, the approval of using an $8 million bond for the project and most recently accepting the $5,590,000 construction bid from Caldwell, Heckels and Egan Inc.

Council President Richard Kirkner opened the ceremony with reminiscing about when he first came to Phoenixville 33 years ago. He remembered a sentence on the open hearth building that read, “At Phoenix, it’s the people that make the difference.”

“Whenever I think about that, I think of the people of Phoenixville because it’s really the people that have made the difference in this town and continue to make the difference,” Kirkner said. “Today’s groundbreaking is one manifestation of people from Phoenixville making a difference and what this community can do.”

Kirkner said some people have asked why the new borough hall is being built. He cited reasons such as the economy is slowly improving, low interest rates, competitive labor rates and the management that has brought the underwriting of the bond for the borough hall project.

“Only time can tell, only time will validate if our judgement in doing this is sound or not,” Kirkner said.

Kirkner thanked all the parties involved on the project including Mayor Leo Scoda who encouraged the borough to investigate the financing after the feasibility study.

Council member Dana Dugan offered remarks on “making a dream become a reality.”

Dugan said the achievement belongs to so many people, including borough council members past and present.

“The true credit really belongs to the citizens of Phoenixville because with your support and sacrifice, we will now have a borough hall fit to represent the beauty of our magnificent borough,” she said.

Council member Jennifer Mayo described the new borough hall as a milestone for the town’s history. Mayo said it wasn’t only necessary but time for a new borough hall.

Mayo thanked Mayor Scoda, Borough Manager E. Jean Krack, borough staff and the other borough council members for all of the hard work and late nights working on the project.

Council Vice President Michael Speck said during each borough council meeting when attendance is taken he answers with “Semper Fi, here and ready to work.” The Marine motto in Latin “Semper Fidelis,” means “always faithful.”

“Today I’d like to say Semper Fi, we’re here and ready to build,” Speck said.

Chester County Commissioners Ryan Costello, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell congratulated the

Before Ryan Costello became a county commissioner he worked in the OWM Law office located at 347 Bridge St. Costello noted the revitalization projects in Phoenixville that can be seen while driving through town.

He said borough council members along with Scoda make a “great team.”

“I think that this project is just a further expression or exemplification of the revitalization continuing,” Costello said.

Cozzone echoed Kirkner and Costello’s sentiments, saying that the new borough hall will be another sign of Phoenixville’s progress.

Farrell added, “The phoenix is a symbol of the spirit that cannot be kept down...the spirit that rises again and Phoenixville has exemplified that.”