On November 8, West Whiteland Township Supervisors, staff and contractors gathered to break ground on the long-awaited new public works facility at 121 Valley Creek Boulevard. The 39,000 square foot facility will consolidate and replace the Township’s three existing, outdated buildings, allowing for increased operational efficiency, teamwork, collaboration, and shared equipment usage. As Board of Supervisors Chair Brian Dunn stated, “With our Public Works divisions located at three satellite locations with minimal space, the new facility will house all under one roof. This will be optimal for sharing equipment and adding to the longevity of the vehicles and all equipment since it will be under cover.”
The Township has been planning the construction of a new Public Works Facility for several years, working through multiple iterations of location and scope. The property is a 31.87-acre vacant lot along the east side of Valley Creek Boulevard that extends east to the boundary with East Whiteland Township and south to Lincoln Highway. One major advantage of the new facility is the proposed covered space to store vehicles and outdoor equipment, extending their lifespan and thus reducing repair and equipment costs. According to Supervisor Rajesh Kumbhardare, “Covered storage for construction materials such as stone and mulch will allow for bulk purchasing and increased inventory for emergency repairs. Challenges at the three existing buildings include space constraints, looming capital repair needs, and inadequate under-roof storage availability.” The new facility includes an administration building, mechanics bay, garage, material storage shed and all site related items such as utilities, stormwater system, and parking.
Funding for the project was made possible through a combination of RACP funds, the sale of the existing public works facility and barn, and bond proceeds, with the remainder coming from Township reserves. Supervisor Theresa Santalucia commented, “The construction costs are estimated at prevailing wage, and the developer intends to utilize prevailing wages for all construction, in accordance with West Whiteland Township policy, and in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” RACP funds of $1.5 million were awarded by the State to be used to support a portion of the municipal services development site and its building construction costs.
Township Manager Pam Gural-Bear thanked the Township’s many partners, including East Whiteland Township, Chester Co. Economic Development Council, Exton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater W. Chester Chamber of Commerce, West Chester Area School District, PA State Senator Andrew Dinniman, PA State Reps Kristine Howard, Carolyn Comitta, Melissa Shusterman, Dan Williams, Mary Eisenhower for making the project a reality. Talks began in the 1980s to create a consolidated, more updated facility, so, as retired Public Works Director Joe Roscioli has remarked, “It’s been a long time coming!”
West Whiteland Township’s public works department maintains the roads and sewer system for the Township, including storm inlets, traffic signals and signs, sight distance and weather-related issues on the Township’s sixty-seven miles of roads, as well as the care and upkeep of the Township’s eleven parks. The public works team of thirteen field employees will be moving into their new workspace by early fall 2024.
Photo caption: From left: Michael Wright, Scott Kriebel, Rory Donly (all 3 from Heim Construction); Supervisor Theresa Santalucia, Supervisor Raj Kumbhardare, Supervisor Brian Dunn, Township Manager Pam Gural-Bear, Interim Public Works Director Ed Culp, Towmship Engineer and Construction Projects Manager Brannon Tupper