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$25K Lobby Improvements Coming to Whitehall Library

Also, an Economic Development South update and other notes from a Feb. 15 Whitehall Borough meeting.

Has Gas-Drilling Company Been at South Hills C.C.?

Read here.

Whitehall Library Upgrades

The Whitehall Public Library is known for its top-notch appearance, among other features, but the library will nevertheless receive more upgrades soon in the form of changes to its lobby area.

Paula Kelly, the director of the library, spoke at a Whitehall Borough Council meeting on Wednesday night and introduced Virginia Weida, of Virginia Weida Designs, who has been contracted to alter the entranceway of the library (with the permission of the council).

Weida said that she intends to replace the tiles in the entranceway which currently bear names of library donors.

"Unfortunately, time and age has really made the names illegible," Weida said, "and the actual tiles themselves are starting to come apart. So that's our first order of business."

Weida said that she wants to republish the names of the donors found on the tiles on a new "tribute wall" in the lobby.

"(The names) will go on the wall over the community entrance when you enter into the library," she said, "so all of the names that are on the floor now that some of you can read and some of you can't, those will be recreated on a wall."

Other improvements suggested by Weida will be replacing raised walk-off mats in the lobby with ones that sit within the floor itself "so there's no height change in transition." The embedded mats will have slots that catch water, pebbles, road salt and similar items.

Weida also suggested re-painting the lobby, as well as signage upgrades.

"My whole impetus for this (project) was coming into the library every day and seeing those poor (donor) bricks," Kelly said. "People spent a lot of money to pay tribute to somebody, and they were stained and oily and eroded and 100-percent illegible. And it just was a shame, so the first priority was to re-recognize them (those names)."

Kelly officially sought the borough council's approval on Wednesday for her and Weida's plan, which would be budgeted not to exceed $25,000 and six weeks of construction.

Weida said that the work would be done around the library's schedule so as not to block the facility's current entranceway from being used.

"What we're doing isn't big," she said, "but it's complicated."

The council approved the plan with a 5-0 vote. Council members Harold Berkoben and Kathleen N. DePuy were absent.

Weyman Road Building Purchased by Borough

The Whitehall Council recently approved the purchase of a small, green-colored building next to the junkyard on Weyman Road for $1,000 from its previous owner.

The building will be demolished and converted into grassy space.

"Bit by bit, that area down there on the corner (of Weyman and Provost roads) is getting cleaned up," borough Manager James E. Leventry said on Wednesday, referencing another plan by a developer to buy the Weyman junkyard property and turn it into a high-end storage facility.

EDS Update

Whitehall Councilman Robert McKown provided fellow council members with an update on progress that Economic Development South (EDS) has made with branding itself. EDS has a partnership with Baldwin, Whitehall and Brentwood boroughs and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Carrick and Overbrook. (Click here for more on that partnership.)

McKown, a member of EDS' branding committee, said that the committee has come up with a name for the EDS partnership—"Corridor Communities" in reference to the Route 51 corridor—and has a first draft of a logo for that name.

The committee is also developing signage for participating communities.

No Shade Tree Vote

Contrary to a previous announcement, Whitehall Mayor James F. Nowalk did not present an ordinance for the borough council to vote on on Wednesday regarding the creation a multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission with Baldwin and Brentwood.

Nowalk said that officials from those other communities are still working on their ordinances and that he felt that it was best to wait until all three municipalities are ready.

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