Wiki Edit 2660
|11:29:22 AM - Wed, May 9th 2012
|Pennsylvania is looking to unload the entire Allentown State Hospital property as well as a portion of the Harrisburg State Hospital property.
Pennsylvania seeks to sell Allentown State Hospital, East Allen Township juvenile treatmen...
Pennsylvania is seeking to sell Allentown State Hospital in Allentown and the Weaversville Secure Treatment Facility in East Allen Township, both of which are closed and vacant. They are among five unused properties the state hopes to sell as part of a plan to generate $9.3 million and save $3.6 million in annual maintenance costs. Allentown State Hospital, a former psychiatric hospital at 1600 Hanover Ave., closed in December 2010 after 98 years in operation, according to city spokesman Mike Moore. The Weaversville Secure Treatment Facility, a juvenile detention center first for boys, then exclusively for girls, shut down in May 2010, said Troy Thompson, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services.
The properties' estimated value are between $1.2 million and $1.4 million for Allentown State Hospital, Thompson said, and $900,000 for Weaversville. East Allen Township has been in discussions with the state for more than 18 months about acquiring the Weaversville property, which consists of 16 acres, according to township Manager Deborah Seiple. No buyers have yet been lined up for either property, and Thompson said the fact that the state is seeking a buyer would not preclude East Allen Township from negotiating a purchase. Seiple said the township cannot afford to buy the property, so if the state is looking to sell, she does not know where that leaves the township.
"The state knows the township is interested. The state also knows we can't afford to buy it," Seiple said. "Now, I don't know what's going to happen." Thompson said maintaining the Allentown and Weaversville facilities cost the state $1.8 million and $200,000 annually, respectively, Thompson said. "In this time of tightening budgets, we face the challenge of finding ways to increase revenues coming into the state while reducing our costs of doing business," Sheri Phillips, secretary of the state Department of General Services, said in a statement. "This plan presents an excellent opportunity to bring in revenue and return these properties to the tax rolls, where they can contribute to the revitalization of our economy," Phillips stated. The proposal to sell the buildings is far from finalized, and will eventually require approval from both Gov. Tom Corbett's office and the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Thompson said.
The Allentown State Hospital property consists of 165 acres of land and 30 buildings, according to the state. Moore said it is vacant except for a city maintenance garage on the property, but the Allentown Fire Department is no longer stationing a fire truck there. The Weaversville facility on Weaversville Road is next to Bicentennial Park, which is owned and operated by East Allen Township. Seiple said the township would like to acquire the Weaversville property for a possible expansion of the park, or possibly to establish a new building there. "But what they're asking for for that property, from the appraisals I've seen, no municipality could afford that, not in this economy," she said. Allentown State Hospital was one of seven mental health hospitals left in the state when it closed in 2010, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The hospital population was 175 when it closed, compared to a high of 2,012 in 1950. The decline represented a trend toward decreasing populations in state hospitals in the years before its closure, according to the state.
In addition to the two Lehigh Valley facilities, the state is seeking to sell the Scotland School for Veterans' Children in Franklin County, the Fort LeBoeuf Museum in Erie County and a parcel of the DGS Annex in Harrisburg. The sales plan was presented today to the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee and will have to be presented to the same state House committee, Thompson said. Once both committees approve it, it is expected to go to Corbett's office for his signature by June 15, he said. The General Assembly would have to approve it after that, and Thompson could offer no timeline for when that could happen.
Former Harrisburg State Hospital grounds on list of state properties that could be for sal...
Department of General Services Secretary Sheri Phillips told the Senate State Government Committee that the state could generate up to $9.3 million through the sale of five unused properties, including a piece of the former Harrisburg State Hospital and the Scotland School for Veterans Children.
Phillips said the sales would save the state more than $3.6 million in annual maintenance costs. The former facilities and properties being considered for sale are:
- Scotland School for Veterans Children in Greene Township, Franklin County. The property consists of 166 acres of land and 70 buildings.
- Allentown State Hospital, Lehigh County. The property consists of 165 acres of land and 30 buildings.
- Weaversville Secure Treatment Facility in East Allen Township, Northampton County, consisting of 16 acres of land and three buildings.
- Fort LeBoeuf Museum in the Borough of Waterford, Erie County.The property consists of 1.18 acres of land and one building.
- A parcel on the DGS Annex, formerly Harrisburg State Hospital, in Susquehanna Township and the City of Harrisburg, Dauphin County. The property consists of 7.8 acres of land and three unused residential homes.
After hearings are held by the Senate and House State Government Committees, the Department of General Services will submit the plan to the governor for final approval by June 15. The entire General Assembly will vote on the plan later this year.
The portion of HSH is just the old Gate House and two old physician residences as well as a ball field behind them. My main concern is Allentown, I really hope we don't see this one get the wrecking ball too.
Edited On 11:42:18 AM - Wed, May 9th 2012 by Thomasp94