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The first person to correctly identify the site in the photo above will be recognized as a truly perceptive scholar. Please send your responses to: Info@downingtownareahistoricalsociety.org
What local residents were talking about 36 years ago
Noted below are news items originally published in the East Branch Citizen in the latter part of October 1979.
- Members of the Downingtown Area School Board were upset when they learned that original cost estimates of building additions at two of the district’s elementary schools were too low. In fact, the new, higher projections were twice as high as the current 13 percent inflation rate. Initially, the cost of constructing an addition at West Bradford School had been $342,000. But after the architect reviewed the numbers, his cost-projection increased by about 25 percent, to $460,000. And an analysis of the cost of the addition at Pickering Valley School leaped about 35 percent, from $1,055,000 to $1,275,000. Dr. Charles Micken, district superintendent, noted that the inflation rate for the construction industry was much higher than the rate for the rest of the U.S. economy. That observation didn’t placate the school directors, especially when they noted that the architect’s fee was to be 6 per cent of the total construction costs for the two additions.
- The Robert G. Struble Biking and Hiking Trail was dedicated by the Chester County Commissioners at the trail’s entrance on Norwood Road. First proposed by the County Planning Commission in 1973, the project foundered until 1976, when Commissioner Robert Struble started promoting it again. The first phase of the nearly-completed, 3.5-mile trail was completed, and was open for hiking. It was expected to ready for biking in 1980.The trail follows the old right-of-way of the abandoned New Holland branch of the Penn Central Railroad Line. The Line, initially incorporated as the East Brandywine and Waynesburg Railroad in 1854, was built to link the paper mills along the Brandywine Creek, between Downingtown and New Holland. It also provided rural communities with postal, freight and passenger service. The Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the line in 1903. The line was abandoned in 1972.