What's So Great About Huntingdon?
(Taken from President Kepple's recent presentation to the Huntingdon Rotary Club)
The Huntingdon Community is experiencing tremendous momentum. To be sure, there is more work to do, but listed below are some of the great things that have happened over the past few years:
- Isett Community Pool, a wonderful new recreation facility, as well as the new Mutual Benefit parking lot, have greatly enhanced the entrance to Huntingdon from the East.
- The improved Portstown Park and the mural appearing along the concrete wall provide an enhanced entrance to Huntingdon from the West.
- Mimi's Restaurant provides a first-class dining experience for the College, local business, and the the public. In addition, Memories, Jumbo China Buffet, Meadows Ice Cream, C@ffeine, Edgewater Acres, and the new Mill Stone Manor (formerly Peggy's Place) provide more new dining options.
- Comfort Inn offers a great place to house guest and a 12-room expansion is planned.
- The new Giant Store, Wal-Mart, Peebles, and an expanded Ace Hardware provide more retail options. A new Rite Aid Pharmacy will soon replace the Days Inn.
- Expanded golf and dining facilities at the Huntingdon Country Club offer opportunities for both residents and guests of our area.
- Facilities expansions and new jobs at Mead/Westvaco, Bonney Forge, FCI, and DC Goodman indicate a willingness for businesses to remain and grow in our community.
- The wonderful new Mutual Benefit building and the beautiful new St. James Lutheran Church are terrific investments in downtown Huntingdon.
- Westminster Woods is now opening its last housing phase which indicates great success in the retirement market in Huntingdon, and Juniata is making plans for an "Active 55+" 120 unit retirement community in partnership with Campus Continuum.
- S & A Homes has built approximately 125 homes in the Highlands, Oneida Woods is getting underway with a projected 80 homesites, second home developments has added approximately 40 homes, indicating that folks continue to want to reside in our area.
- JC Blair is now working with a balance budget and has developed a program that reduces the unassigned coverage burden on local physicians so new doctors can be successfully recruited.
- Business is on the upswing at AGY, Containment Solutions, and Millers Auto.
- The community has invested in a renovated high school and built several new elementary schools and plans are underway to replace the Huntingdon Junior High School.
- The HCBI/JCEL partnership is flourishing, the Chamber of Commerce has become county-wide and more vigorous, and the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau has expanded its outreach resulting in increased tourism to our area.
- Amtrak still serves Huntingdon, and the State College Airport now offers jet service.
- Organizations such as the Historical Society, the Community Center, the Arts Council, Huntingdon Area Habitat for Humanity, and the Humane Society-to name a few-are serving the community well.
- Juniata has grown by 200 students and 77 employees while investing over $50 Million on facilities.
- Route 22 will be almost completely four-lane from Pittsburgh to Tyrone and from NYC to Lewistown by 2008.
- Lake Raystown Resort Conference Center is a beautiful new facility that will bring increased conference activity to the area.
- Unemployment has gone from 14% to 5% and the community has developed a more diverse economy along the way.
- And, there are good things in the immediate future. The continued expansion of bike trails in the area, a proposed new community center, a new hotel, a new YBC, the improvement of a portion of Allegheny Street, and a new Starbucks on Route 22 all bode well for the future of our community.
- Huntingdon is a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family, vacation, and retire. That's what's so great about it!