The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 28, 2013

'Ifs' surround Prospect venture | Volunteers needed to get co-op off ground

JOHNSTOWN — Sitting on a hillside overlooking the city and separated from the downtown by a river and several lines of railroad tracks, Prospect at times appears isolated from Johnstown’s other sections.

It hasn’t been as fortunate, either, as some of the neighborhoods that recently have seen new businesses and refurbished historical structures enhance their landscapes.

That doesn’t mean Prospect’s leaders haven’t been trying to make improvements or promote changes that boost the quality of life for the community’s residents.

In fact, they hope the latest venture, the Greater Prospect Store Co-Op, will do just that.

Billed as a market, educational facility, coffee shop, laundromat, gathering place and, hopefully, a source of pride, the store is scheduled to open in four short months – if.

The “if” is depending on whether volunteers step forward to help complete interior work such as the installation of plumbing, electricity, heating and air conditioning and other amenities.

Help is needed with painting, carpentry, landscaping and general labor.

“I just think it would be a benefit if the community people could step in if they have a particular expertise and then offer that expertise when that phase comes up,” construction manager Vincent Peluso said.

Peluso can be reached at his AmeriServ Financial office by calling 533-5210.

As reported by our Dave Sutor, organizers from Greater Prospect Inc. have been in the process of transforming what was a vacant eyesore at 110 William Penn Ave. into a vibrant community center.

Their hope is that residents take a part now and in the future.

“I really believe a sense of ownership is the biggest thing we’re trying to instill,” Peluso said.

Added co-op president, the Rev. Sylvia King, “It will become a focal point for the community.”  

And hopefully it will help plant seeds for other projects, other improvements, and even attract a few other businesses.


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