BUCKS COUNTY >> State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) has announced that $3.5 million in state grant funds to improve local infrastructure, health and safety, and arts and culture in Bucks County, which will help grow and strengthen businesses, while providing a needed economic boost to the region.
The awards will go to New Hope Borough, Doylestown Hospital, Bucks County Children’s Museum and the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
“I want to thank Governor Wolf for prioritizing RACP funds for projects like these, providing important state investments in our local economy,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “I enthusiastically supported all of these applications, advocating for projects across my district that will drive economic development and make continued regional improvements that are especially needed given the challenges of the pandemic.”
New Hope Borough will receive $1,750,000 for the construction of a new five-level parking garage on borough-owned land, one block from Main Street. The project will also update road paving between the garage and Main Street and will provide for both pedestrian walkways and a shuttle service.
“New Hope is a thriving borough with many restaurants and retail shops that attract locals and tourists alike,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “The parking garage project will accommodate 350 cars, which will make New Hope more accessible, boosting revenue for many small businesses in our local economy.”
“The Borough welcomes the opportunity to move forward with this grant for a new parking garage,” said Peter Grey, New Hope Borough Manager. “With an off street parking site, the Borough will be able to provide needed relief to visitors of New Hope who come to enjoy the various restaurants and shopping that are offered. We look forward to moving forward in the process and thank State Senator Santarsiero for assisting us in our application and Governor Wolf for authorizing the funding for the Borough.”
“This is a dream come true for Bucks County Playhouse and the 80,000 people a year who come to our performances. Indeed, it will be transformative for every business in New Hope. Definitely the best news to come out of 2020,” said Alexander Fraser, Producing Director of Bucks County Playhouse. “On behalf of the Board and staff of Bucks County Playhouse, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Steve Santarsiero and Connie Gering for their belief in the dream, and their diligence in this huge first step in making it a reality,” said Fraser referring to New Hope Borough Council President Constance Gering.
The $1 million funds to Doylestown Hospital will be used for the hospital’s new Women’s Diagnostic Center, to relocate, expand, and enhance the current diagnostic area, helping to improve Doylestown Hospital’s commitment to quality care for its patients. The new Center will feature dedicated space for mammography and ultrasound, with upgraded equipment to increase efficiency in screening and diagnostics.
“Doylestown Hospital has a longstanding commitment to providing quality care, and this project highlights that commitment,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “With the completion of the new Women’s Diagnostic Center, the hospital expects to be able to accommodate 10-15% more patients, leading to increases in early detection of cancer in patients and better prognoses with early treatment.”
“The support of Gov. Wolf and Sen. Santarsiero is a tremendous boost to the transformative renovation and expansion of key priorities across Doylestown Health,” said Jim Brexler, President and CEO of Doylestown Health. “We deeply appreciate the Commonwealth’s investment in our community health system. They join a growing list of community, Board and staff donors who recognize the need for state-of-the-art facilities, enhanced services, and program growth to serve our community. This support comes at a pivotal time as we continue to raise critical funding for ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health allowing us to safeguard the future of healthcare while remaining independent.”
The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center will receive $500,000 to develop a public museum and education center on the preserved Highland Farm site in Doylestown. The project will include restoration of existing home structures, and repurposing of the facility to include exhibition and classroom spaces, as well as a welcome center.
“I have been working with the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and all of our local museums here in Bucks County throughout the pandemic to help ensure they come out on the other side of this stronger than before”, said Sen. Santarsiero. “These state funds to help restore and redevelop this iconic property will allow the public to visit the space that inspired some of the most classic American musicals like Oklahoma, South Pacific and Sound of Music.”
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Santarsiero and Governor Wolf for this grant. Preserving Highland Farm, the homestead and creative epicenter where Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the lyrics to some of the world’s most noted and performed songs, is essential for Bucks County, for Pennsylvania and for our country,” said Greg Roth, President of the Board, Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theater Education Center. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, Christine Cole, and all of the organization’s supporters and advocates, Roth continued, “Oscar Hammerstein’s themes of inclusion and acceptance are as relevant today as they were 80 years ago when he penned them. The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theater Education Center will provide a place for enthusiasts and visitors to be inspired and a place for children from all over the world to have an opportunity to learn about musical theater and pursue their musical theater passions and interests.”
The Bucks County Children’s Museum will receive $250,000 for construction of a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility, that will feature expanded exhibit and gallery areas, expanded indoor and outdoor space, and will incorporate additional health and safety best practices. The project will also increase parking and build new administrative offices.
“The Children’s Museum offers our young people an opportunity to explore their creative side in an interactive environment, while serving both our local community and attracting families from a wider area,” said Sen. Santarsiero. “Our museums have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, so I am particularly excited that Bucks County Children’s Museum has been awarded funding to build a new facility that will include improvements to meet health and safety guidelines, including larger indoor and outdoor spaces.”
“This support from the Commonwealth is great news for the thousands of families and children who visit The Bucks County Children’s Museum each year,” said Kelly Krumenacker, Executive Director of The Bucks County Children’s Museum We are excited for the opportunity to increase our capacity to serve the community and visitors to the county in an expanded facility filled with unique and engaging educational experiences.”
RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.
To learn more about RACP projects and grants, visit the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget website.