PHOENIXVILLE -- The construction of the Phoenixville Kiwanis Children's Plaza archway began Wednesday evening as two 12-foot Phoenix Steel columns were set into place.

According to George Manseur, Archway Project Coordinator, the installation of the two columns is just one part of a labor of love that will last a long time for the community.

"This is a project that began last fall, and we are seeing it come to fruition now," said Manseur.

The two 120-year-old Phoenix steel columns, donated by the Hankin Group, were sandblasted and cleaned by D & D Fabrication in Phoenixville.

"You name it and we did it to them," said Dennis Hicks of D & D Fabrication. "We welded the baseplates, fabricated the columns and anything that got welded to the columns."

Once the columns were finished at D & D Fabrication, they were transported to Pejey's Auto Body & Towing, where Mike and Matt Peto began prepping the columns for painting.

Manseur said that DuPont donated $12,000 worth of holographic paint and finisher for both the columns and the impending top of the archway.

"Pejey's cleaned the columns and applied an epoxy [coating] to them prior to painting them," he said. "They began painting the columns and archway last week, and now the columns are ready to be set."

Pejey's Auto Body & Towing transported the two columns over to the Children's Plaza Wednesday evening, and were met there by Barry Chendorian, whose concept and design created the archway.

"It was Barry's design that we chose for the archway," said Manseur. "I presented his design to the Kiwanis and they fell in love with it."

The two columns were removed from the flatbed truck via a boom by Chendorian, placed onto the waiting stations in the ground, and secured tightly.

Manseur said he has nothing but praise for Peto, Hicks and Chendorian for all of their efforts in this project.

"Everyone has donated their services and we owe them an outstanding debt of gratitude," he said. "This is a project of love for this community."

The second part of the archway project takes place this evening, as the top of the archway will be transported to the Children's Plaza.

The archway will be placed and secured on top of the two columns, but will be covered until the grand revealing and dedication on Friday afternoon during the Phoenixville Federal First Friday Celebration.

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