PHOENIXVILLE - A presentation on changing Phoenixville's image was made to Phoenixville Area School District at the board meeting on Thursday.
Phoenixville Rejuvenation Project, headed by Manny DeMutis, presented a proposal for a cable television commercial in order to alter the perception of Phoenixville.
"There is a stigma," said DeMutis, "a negative image of Phoenixville in people's minds." DeMutis, who is working in conjunction with the Main Street Program, hopes to bring more businesses and jobs to the area.
"There has been a lot of progress and positive things have been achieved," said DeMutis. However, he said that business owners are wary of Phoenixville because it has the reputation of being "downtrodden."
"This has to be a broad-based community effort," said DeMutis. "Instead of dealing with it in little chunks we'll take care of it right here." He claimed that the school district, along with residents and local businesses, would benefit with added revenue and tax base in the area.
"We are going to change the perception and show our reality," said DeMutis. He named the school district, an award-winning marching band, businesses in town, and Phoenixville Hospital as a few of the assets in the area that are being overlooked.
Joymarie DeFruscio, a Comcast advertising representative, explained that the cable commercial would broadcast on several networks and at different times of day to reach a broad audience. The campaign, which would run from February 16 to December 12, would include 6,350 commercial spots at a cost of $113,153.
"Has Comcast done this in other municipalities?" asked William E. Mea, school board member.
DeFruscio said that the campaign has been used before; in particular, it was used and successful in the Ambler area in changing public perception.
Fred Parry, school board member, suggested that the campaign be presented to the finance committee. Any financial commitment that the school board would make would have to be through the finance committee.
In other news, Kelly Connors, school board member, discussed the planned courses that are approved to be offered next year. Whether or not the courses will actually be offered is dependent upon enrollment, scheduling and teachers available.
Administrators are testing interest in new courses by adding several electives including a life skills course.
"I think what we have here is well thought-out to meet state standards and satisfy parents' requests for courses," said Superintendent, Dr. David R. Noyes, "We try to teach good decision making, consequences for bad decisions."