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Susquehanna Life

Envision Lancaster County Leadership Awards Honors Area Standouts

Mar 30, 2015 11:03AM ● By Erica Shames

The Lancaster County Planning Commission held its Envision Lancaster County Leadership Awards Program on March 24 at the Manheim Township Public Library. The Envision Leadership Awards program recognizes the actions of municipalities, developers, consultants, and community groups that embrace smart growth concepts and highlights the advantages of good planning.

James Cowhey, LCPC Executive Director, announced the Envision Lancaster County Leadership Award winners, and Commissioners Dennis Stuckey and Scott Martin and LCPC Chairman Leo Lutz presented the awards.

There was one winner of the top award - Leadership Award - this year –’s Lancaster Campus of History. The Campus of History has transformed Lancaster County’s Historical Society and Wheatland, a National Historic Landmark and the home of Pennsylvania’s only U.S. President, into a new national model for historical learning and public programming. made a commitment to a sustainable building from the master-planning stage, which allowed all aspects of the design to be considered with sustainability in mind. The Campus of History is slated to receive LEED Silver-Level certification - the first in the non-profit sector in our community. Project partners included Benchmark Construction and Centerbrook Architects and Master Planners.

Two Achievement Awards were presented. The winners were Lancaster City Hall Expansion and Renovations, Lancaster City and Lighten Up Lancaster and Lancaster Civil Engineering’s Active Living Project.

The Lancaster City Hall project was designed by Cox Evans Architects with construction services by Caldwell, Heckles and Egan, Inc., C.S. Davidson, Inc., Moore Engineering Company, Integrity Mechanical, Inc., McCarty and Son, Inc., Vision Mechanical, Inc., and S. A. Comunale, Inc. The new building was designed to complement old City Hall.

Doors and windows, brick masonry and cast stone, as well as metal cornice material were complementary to and continued the theme of old City Hall into the Annex. Energy efficient mechanical upgrades, green building technology, and green infrastructure were incorporated into the design and construction of both the addition and the renovation. The City Hall renovation and expansion project is eligible for LEED Silver Certification.

Entries are evaluated for replicability, effectiveness, support for county and local plans, and community involvement and partnerships.  Entries are judged in five categories: Heritage Resources, Sustainable Growth, Infrastructure, Community Capacity, and Community Design and Placemaking.

The Lighten Up Lancaster County Coalition, in partnership with Lancaster General Health and Lancaster Civil Engineering, is working to reduce obesity and advance health in the county through active living. The coalition is comprised of over 500 individuals and 75 organizations. In 2013 Lighten Up Lancaster joined forces with the Lancaster Civil Engineering Company to form a non-profit / private sector partnership. Through this partnership walkability audits have been conducted in 10 municipalities/school districts, 50 community leaders have attended Complete Streets training, and 3 municipalities have adopted resolutions promoting Complete Street designs. Complete Streets are those that provide for the needs of all potential users of the street – young and old, pedestrians and bikes, buses and cars, etc.

A Certificate of Merit was presented for Lancaster General Health’s Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute by Herbert, Rowland, and Grubic, Inc.  Project partners included Ballinger Architects, Jonathon Alderson Landscape Architects, and Benchmark Construction. Although this project is one of a kind, the various green and sustainable components designed by Herbert, Rowland, and Grubic, Inc. can be replicated at a variety of scales in Lancaster County. These components include the curved glass building facade with a southern exposure that promotes passive heating and cooling and natural lighting; numerous trees which reduce the heat island effect; exterior lighting designed to eliminate off-site light pollution; and recycled site materials used as the stone base of the new paving. Sustainable water management facilities include eleven rain gardens and eleven bio-swales located in the parking areas; native landscape plantings; and a 10,000 gallon cistern.

This year’s event featured a keynote presentation by John Meeder, President of Meeder Development and Meedcor Realty Development. Mr. Meeder spoke on “Building for the Future on the Foundations of the Past.” Which is also what John sees as the Meeder company mission. Meeder talked about his development method which is founded on a singular purpose: envisioning great changes within the community and seeing them through to the long-term. Meeder Development Corporation’s projects have revitalized Lancaster’s urban buildings, and, in doing so, have revitalized Lancaster’s great community in many ways as well.

For more information, please contact James R. Cowhey, Executive Director, Lancaster County Planning Commission, 717-299-8333, or 

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