Hollidaysburg planning new ambulance building

HOLLIDAYSBURG – The Hollidaysburg American Legion plans to construct a new banquet hall/ambulance building on the grounds of Legion Park.

Proposed drawings show a 7,200-square-foot building designed for an area next to North Juniata Street. As part of the project, the park’s forked entrance is to be redesigned and replaced at the same location by a consolidated entrance.

“Hopefully everything works out well and this will be another good thing for our community,” Hollidaysburg American Legion Commander Joe Dodson said Monday.

Aside from space for two ambulances, Dodson said the rest of the building will available to rent.

“The Legion [post] is going to stay where it’s at on Allegheny Street,” Dodson said. “This building will be used strictly for banquets, receptions, graduation parties.”

American Legion Ambulance Service Executive Director Rodney Estep said his organization is pleased with the plans. The ambulance service currently rents a facility at the Meadows Intersection where it houses two ambulances. They will be moved to the new building.

Dodson said the organization is still pursuing permits, and that once they’re secured, work can begin, weather permitting.

The Blair County Planning Commission, which recently reviewed the plans and forwarded a letter to borough officials to consider, offered no objections to the proposed development.

While the site is within a 100-year flood plain, Assistant Planner Jamie Klink of the planning commission said that no part of the proposed structure is within the flood plain. The plans also indicate the site has prime farmland, but Klink said that should not be an issue based on current use.

In addition to the banquet hall/ambulance building, plans show 62 parking spaces on the site, along with stormwater management efforts, landscaping and concrete sidewalks.

Planning commission member Don Rabenstein of Duncansville recalled when firefighters used to create ice on a portion of the area identified for parking spaces.

“When I was a kid, they used to flood that for ice skating,” Rabenstein said.

Plans also indicate the project includes the replacement of drainage pipes to help control stormwater and alleviate flooding.

The pipes are undersized, engineer Stephanie Shoenfelt of Keller Engineers reported in project details submitted to the county planning commission.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.