New developments have ebensburg ‘thriving’ news tribdem.com quadcopter gas engine

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The new sidewalks are part of a 12-year effort to replace and install walkways in different neighborhoods and sections of the borough. Putting in new sidewalks along state-owned roads in the center of the borough has been the most expensive part, Penatzer said, but grant funding has helped make it happen.

Penatzer called the sidewalks in the heart of the borough “the face of Ebensburg,” what visitors first see when they come to town, what business owners may look at when deciding to open shop in the borough and what local residents use to walk or run around their neighborhoods.

The back portion of the old prison currently houses the county’s records office, but the front section of the building is where Piepenburg plans to use former cells to house booths and transform the former warden’s quarters into a coffee shop.

Piepenburg said he’s still sifting through the details that will be finalized before construction starts by the beginning of next year and lining up funding sources. The borough has already secured a $250,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant through the state for project work.

About 10 percent of the exterior will change and 90 percent of the interior will change during the course of construction, he estimated. The exterior changes will likely include handicap-accessible ramps, an elevator and a space for outdoor seating.

Piepenburg said he hopes the businesses within the former prison become a family-friendly destination that’s upscale, but not too expensive. He also emphasized the difference between a traditional bar and the brewery he has in mind, which will have a tasting room and homemade root beer for younger customers.

Piepenburg also wants to incorporate the community into the building renovations and eventually the business itself. He plans to invite masonry students from Admiral Peary Area Vocational Technical School to assist with construction. Once the brewery is up and running, Piepenburg said he hopes it can become part of a hands-on learning experience for students pursuing degrees in fermentation arts or culture from St. Francis University.

Also in the borough, a new Sheetz convenience store and gas station can be seen going up along West High Street on the former site of C & J Falchini Inc. beer distributor, which relocated and opened a new store across the street in June. Calls to Sheetz corporate offices in Altoona concerning the timeline of the project and plans for the former Sheetz location next door were not returned.

General Manager Melissa Farabaugh said she’s hoping the new operation will be open to customers by the end of October or early November. Construction is ongoing to the interior and exterior of Dairy Queen’s future location, which will offer customers more food choices along with the famous soft serve and Blizzard treats.

While Dairy Queen currently offers assorted food items along with ice cream and other desserts, more space in the new location will allow for a full menu of burgers, chicken tender baskets, salads and sandwiches, Farabaugh said. The new restaurant will compare to Altoona’s Dairy Queen location in the Logan Towne Center, which allows customers to order at the front of the restaurant and have their meals brought to them, she added.

On Aug. 29, iCare Medical opened its doors on Zeman Drive off Route 22 in Cambria Township. The urgent care facility is staffed by a full-time physician and offers services such as X-rays, flu shots, lab testing, work and school physicals and EKG tests.

“It gives the town a local option,” besides visiting an emergency room for cuts, bruises, burns, fractures or allergic reactions, said iCare manager Jeanna Albright. The physician on site can also test for infections such as Strep throat, write prescriptions and refer patients to another doctor or specialist.

So far, Albright said the facility has had positive reception in the community and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information on iCare services or insurance coverage, visit www.icaremedical.com.