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United Way of Lancaster County


More details disclosed on community facilities up for ARPA funding

Four of the community facilities proposed for city ARPA funding. Clockwise from top left: The Jack Williams Clubhouse (Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster); Bright Side Opportunities Center; Lancaster Public Library, 259 S. Ann St. (South Ann Concerned Neighbors). (Sources: Provided / OUL files)

City Council now has a much fuller picture of the “community facility” projects it is being asked to fund with $5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Council members are scheduled to vote in two weeks, on Tuesday, April 25, on an ordinance awarding ARPA money to 11 projects proposed by 10 community organizations. They were winnowed from submissions from 21 applicants by a selection committee composed of City Councilman Jaime Arroyo, Mayor Danene Sorace, Council President Amanda Bakay and selected city staff members.

When Arroyo presented the recommendations to the rest of council at last week’s committee meeting, however, he provided no details beyond those in the bill to award the funding: Recipient name, award amount and a general description, such as “renovation of an existing facility.”

Initially, it was not clear if the committee would disclose anything further. City Councilman Ahmed Ahmed pressed for more, however, as did One United Lancaster.

In response, the administration provided spreadsheets drawn from the committee’s materials to City Council and this publication.

In addition, representatives of six of the prospective recipients were on hand at City Council’s Tuesday meeting to speak on behalf of their applications.

Lancaster Rec Executive Director Heather Dighe said the proposed allocation for her organization would be “historic” and would “pay dividends for decades to come.” Isiah Perry, program director at Bright Side Opportunities Center, said the recommendation for an ARPA award “is greatly appreciated and will be used wisely.”

Conversely, Darlene Byrd, the leader of South Ann Concerned Neighbors, asked City Council to consider giving her organization the full $400,000 it requested, contending the southeast is receiving less funding than the city’s other three quadrants.

“We’re constantly being neglected,” she said.

South Ann Concerned Neighbors is being recommended for $250,000 for a planned community center. The project also is receiving $400,000 through the state’s Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program.

Representatives of Community Action Partnership, Spanish American Civic Association and Church World Service spoke as well.

All recipients are required to leverage additional funding as a condition of the awards. The committee is recommending granting one request in full, the $500,000 sought by Lancaster Public Library; all other awards are less than requested.

Asked by Councilman Lochard Calixte how the city will ensure the ARPA awards are used “effectively and efficiently,” Arroyo said the city’s contracts with recipients will include appropriate requirements, including deadlines for project milestones and clawback provisions if they’re not met.

Here are details of the proposed allocations, as provided by City Hall and recipient organizations:

Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $944,880 | Recommended Award: $600,000 | Total Project Cost: $1 million.
  • Description: Renovations at three clubhouses: Sherman & Kathryn Hill (116 S. Water St) McMurtrie (335 Dauphin St.) and Jack Walker (229 W. Lemon St.). Renovations at Hill include HVAC replacement, installation of an elevator and converting girls and boys bathrooms into single-occupancy bathrooms. Renovations at McMurtrie include plumbing and bathroom renovations. Renovations at Jack Walker include reconfiguring the front entrance, converting girls and boys bathrooms into single-occupancy bathrooms and addition of a dedicated teen center.

Bright Side Opportunities Center

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $735,684 | Recommended ARPA Award: $500,000 | Total Project Cost: $1,031,364
  • Description: Renovations at Bright Side’s location, 515 Hershey Ave., including HVAC and elevator replacement, construction of a handicap-accessible vestibule at the entrance, renovations of classrooms, banquet hall and gym, new kitchen equipment and repainting.

Church World Service

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $1,471,706 | Recommended Award: $250,000 | Total Project Cost: $4,535,725
  • Description: Convert a warehouse near CWS’ offices, 308 E. King St., into a Welcome Center for refugees. Add additional space with second and third floor additions. Funds would be used for electrical, plumbing and HVAC, new doors and windows and addition of an elevator.

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $1,912,707 | Recommended Award: $400,000 | Total Project Cost: $2,062,707
  • Description: Facility renovations as follows.
    • Crispus Attucks Center (407 Howard Ave.): Replace fire & security system, repair/replace sidewalks, replace exterior lighting, replace window panes, replace flooring, install air conditioning, landscaping, repaint interior & exterior, replace sign and fencing, renovate kitchen, install outdoor patio, paint mural.
    • Safe House (Domestic Violence Services): Replace roof and modernize elevator.
    • Bridge House (Domestic Violence Services): Renovate and paint exterior, install new windows, remodel kitchens in 10 apartments, renovate bathrooms and laundry rooms, replace outlets and lighting, replace roof, and modernize the elevator.

Lancaster Public Library

ARPA Funding Requested: $500,000 | Recommended Award: $500,000 | Total Project Cost: $10 million

Description: The funds would help fill a $3.1 million gap in the budget for fitting out and equipping the Lancaster Public Library’s new Ewell Plaza location. Between 2019 and 2021, project costs rose by 45%, from $6.9 million to $10 million, due to pandemic-related price increases.

Lancaster Recreation Commission

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $10 million | Recommended Award: $750,000 | Total Project Cost: $12 million
  • Description: Lancaster Rec relocation and expansion. (See accompanying article.)

Spanish American Civic Association (SACA)

Project 1

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $650,000 | Recommended Award: $500,000 | Total Project Cost: $650,000
  • Description: Interior, exterior and property renovations at the Hispanic Community Center to provide human services

Project 2

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $700,726 | Recommended Award: $500,000 | Total Project Cost: $1,401,452
  • Description: Renovate unused space at Tec Centro West, 651 High St., including structural improvements, to expand vocational technical training.

South Ann Concerned Neighbors

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $886,347 | Recommended Award: $250,000 | Total Project Cost: $886,347
  • Description: Build a community hub at 259 S. Ann St., demolishing an existing warehouse and building a new three-story building. Project includes one affordable housing unit.

Uni-Vision Childcare

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $432,450 | Recommended Award: $250,000 | Total Project Cost: $490,900
  • Description: Renovate space to expand a Spanish Immersion Center for early education at 505 W. King St. Work includes HVAC system improvements, sprinkler system, electric upgrades, plumbing, painting and security system installation.

Union Community Care

  • ARPA Funding Requested: $750,000 | Recommended Award: $500,000 | Total Project Cost: $1,663,476
  • Description: Renovate and expand existing location and purchase equipment to create a dental clinic at Union Community Care’s Lancaster Downtown location, 304 N. Water St. ARPA funds will support construction and equipment costs for eight new dental suites.

The following applications were not recommended for ARPA awards:

  • Community First Fund: $500,000 for a financial development center.
  • Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic: $643,000 for renovations.
  • Lancaster History: $500,000 for the Stevens & Smith Center for History & Democracy.
  • Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition: $500,000 for its community center, The Loop.
  • Landis Communities: $437,000 for “Conexion,” a community space at Landis Place on King.
  • Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation: $490,000 to replace the amphitheater’s roof.
  • Milagro House: $500,000 for renovation and expansion of its flagship building at 669 W. Chestnut St.
  • Patients R Waiting: $2.9 million for The Black Doctor Factory, a resource center to support people of color pursuing careers in medicine.
  • Vital Theatre Co.: $100,000 for arts and arts education programming.
  • West Art Community Center: $775,000 to create a community center at 800 Buchanan Ave.
  • YMCA of the Roses: $1.15 million to buy and renovate 252 Harrisburg Ave. (across the street from the City Center YMCA) for youth development programs.