The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 15, 2013

Windber Legion upgrades post home

WINDBER — An extensive renovation project is bringing new life to the aged building housing American Legion Post 137 in Windber.

The idea for the American Legion Handicap Accessible Project began in 2010 when it was determined that access into the post building on 14th Street was becoming an issue for older and disabled veteran members and those in the community.

The building dates back to 1919 and had remained basically unchanged for more than 30 years.

There were no ramps, lifts or an elevator in the building, and the restrooms were not handicapped equipped or easily accessible. In addition, there was no handicapped parking or wheelchair access from the parking area to the building’s entrances.

“We were doing a membership meeting and learned that a couple members weren’t renewing their memberships because they’re in wheelchairs and couldn’t get into the building,” said Robert Portante, a member of the project team. “That was the motivation for us to fix the problem.”

To help with costs, project members conducted mail campaigns seeking donations. They also held more than two dozen fundraisers.

The renovations were broken into three phases.

The first phase – modifying restrooms by installing a unisex restroom on the first floor – was completed in December 2011.

The second phase called for modifying the building for handicapped entry and exit by installing an elevator.

“We thought we could use the stairwell as the shaft for the elevator, but code wouldn’t allow it, so we had to put a hole in the wall inside the building,” Portante said.

That setback increased the cost of the project, Portante said, and another round of mailings went out.

“We were successful,” he said. “Everyone believes this is a worthwhile project, and having the elevator will increase traffic in the building not only with vets, but with people coming for weddings, reunions or bingo.”

To celebrate completion of the second phase, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in conjunction with Memorial Day on May 27 at the post home.

The third phase is now underway and includes modifying exterior parking and sidewalks. The goal is to complete the work by the end of summer.

Once the project is finished, a celebration party will be held at the post home to thank the community for its support.

Donations to help with the final phase are still being accepted. Checks can be made payable to Windber American Legion Post 137 and sent in care of Commander Nick Pascovich, 312 14th St., Windber, Pa. 15963.

To read stories in their entirety, visit one of these links:

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 15, 2014

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014

  • Cresson asks court to force ex-chief to sign pact

    An agreement reached more than a month ago between Cresson Borough Council and its former police chief still has not been signed, and the borough is asking a judge to intervene.

    April 15, 2014

  • hamer 16 Mom told to seek help for addiction

    A Johnstown woman charged with tossing her 4-month-old baby and with drug-related offenses pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Cambria County court on Tuesday.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • District hopes refinancing will save additional $40G

    Refinancing about $4 million in debt will result in savings more than twice as large as initially expected, Windber Area school board members learned Tuesday night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Elder justice events set

    In an effort to combat elder abuse in area communities, an elder justice seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 24 at the Johnstown Senior Center, 550 Main St., downtown Johnstown. In addition, a free elder abuse clergy training seminar will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. April 25 at Moxham Lutheran Church, 500 Park Ave., Johnstown.

    April 15, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/16/2014

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads