Penn Community Bank, Bucks United Way, establish COVID-19 fund

The fund will target issues such as food insecurity that may be made worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES –

Penn Community Bank in Perkasie said it is working with United Way of Bucks County to create a Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund to help those who experience a financial crisis from the pandemic.

“The funds are intended to be filling gaps that will arise as a result of these circumstances,” said Todd Hurley, the bank’s chief relationship officer. “There were already people who were food insecure before this. The trickle down of this is creating further hardship because people might be out of work because of it.”

Both the bank and the United Way are contributing $25,000 to help launch the fund, which will be managed by the United Way and be distributed through a review board of community leaders, including Hurley.

Money will be given to United Way agencies, such as food banks, to distribute where they see the need.

“These agencies already have the processes in place to help the community,” he said.

Over the coming weeks, these agencies that serve the community will face their own challenges in continuing their services and reaching the people that need help the most, Hurley said.

Because of social distancing, they may have limited volunteers on hand. There are also questions about how food gets distributed. “Some people can’t get out of their homes, how do we get food them?” Hurley said.

Organizers are soliciting funds for the campaign. Donations can be made to www.uwvbucks.org/covidecovery.

“As local businesses adjust their operations and staffing to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, we know that many in our community will feel the hardship created by missed or reduced paychecks,” said Jeane M. Vidoni, president and CEO of Penn Community Bank. “Penn Community Bank is proud to pledge its support to the Bucks County COVID-19 Recovery Fund. We know that many more businesses and organizations are looking for ways to help in this time of need, and this is it.”



$20M upscale residential conversion project underway in Perkasie

A Bucks County homebuilder is starting work on Perkasie Lofts, a $20 million upscale residential project. –


A Bucks County homebuilder is starting work on Perkasie Lofts, a $20 million upscale residential project that would convert a former auto mirror factory into 90 high-end apartments and 10 townhouses.

Stephen Barth, Perkasie’s consultant for economic development, said the 235,000 square-foot-property once served as an auto mirror factory but has sat vacant for 14 years. Built in 1914, the brick factory includes high ceilings and large windows, and workers plan to put the windows back in place once they complete the project, he added.

The site will include underground parking.

“By utilizing the existing land, you can accommodate a lot of parking out on the street, it has a minimal impact on the neighborhood,” Barth said.

With all final plans approved, workers have begun demolition and site preparation, he added.

Two pieces of the project span three blocks in the downtown and the site is two blocks from the borough’s town center.

The borough has seen new economic activity over the past several years and one of the first things companies ask when they move in is, ‘what kind of housing do you have available?’ Barth said.

“I think companies of today are much more employee-focused,” Barth said.

The project includes a developer impact fee, a one-time fee per unit that will help improve the nearby Menlo Park, a playground for the community.

“It does change the community, so by improving our park, it benefits everyone,” Barth said. “It improves this amenity for everyone there.”

The Moser Group of Chalfont is the company building the residential units and C2 Architecture of Philadelphia designed the project.

Pa. awards $2.4 million in workforce development grants

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry awarded $2.4 million in workforce development grants to counties across the commonwealth. In all, 19 workforce development boards were granted from $100,000 to $200,000 each, according to a Jan. 16 news release from the state.

The funds awarded are designed to help employers partner with schools to provide career training.

“These investments will give students the technical training they need to get good-paying jobs when they join the workforce,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Building business and education partnerships will help ensure our students have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy, while simultaneously creating new generations of highly-skilled workers for Pennsylvania employers.”

The grants aim to aid connections between schools and employers by providing career-related opportunities through internships, workplace shadowing, and career mentoring.

The following LWDBs received Business-Education Partnership grants:

  • Berks County Workforce Development Board $110,955
  • Bucks County Workforce Development Board $118,200
  • Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board $121,080
  • Chester County Workforce Development Board $150,000
  • Delaware County Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • Lackawanna County Workforce Development Board $158,915
  • Lancaster County Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • Luzerne-Schuylkill Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • North Central Workforce Development Board $191,498
  • Northern Tier Workforce Development Board $131,006
  • Northwest Workforce Development Board $120,000
  • Philadelphia Workforce Development Board $137,952
  • Pocono Counties Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • South Central Workforce Development Board $200,000
  • Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board $ 77,387
  • Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • Three Rivers Workforce Development Board $161,958
  • Tri-County Workforce Development Board $100,000
  • West Central Workforce Development Board $150,000

St. Luke’s new $100 million Upper Bucks Campus to open Dec. 14

Bucks County’s newest hospital, St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus, will officially open its doors at 7 a.m. Dec. 14. The hospital is located at 3000 St. Luke’s Drive in Milford Township.

Construction of the $100 million, 131,000-square-foot, 80-bed hospital campus began in May of 2018.

Bucks County’s newest hospital, pictured, St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus, will officially open its doors on Dec. 14 – submitted

With the opening of the St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus, the emergency room at the nearby St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus at 1021 Park Avenue in Quakertown will close. In addition to emergency, medical/surgical beds, intensive care beds, and surgical services will transfer from St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus to the new Upper Bucks Campus.

“We are excited to open this beautiful new hospital in Bucks County,” said Dennis Pfleiger, president of St. Luke’s Upper Bucks and Quakertown Campus. “I also cannot stress enough the importance of every area resident knowing that the Quakertown Campus ER will relocate to the Upper Bucks Campus.”

Fifty new staff have been hired for the new hospital and approximately 300 full- and part-time employees from St. Luke’s Quakertown Campus will transition to the Upper Bucks Campus.

Open house offers sneak peek of Bucks County’s newest hospital

More than 1,500 people registered for Saturday’s open house at St. Luke’s Upper Bucks, Bucks County’s newest hospital.

St. Luke’s Upper Bucks, the new roughly $100 million facility slated to open in December at the corner of Route 663 and Portzer Road in Milford Township. 

The center, expected to open next month, represents a $100 million investment in the county’s northern tier, adding 50 jobs.

Dennis Pfleiger, president of St. Luke’s Quakertown, and St. Luke’s Upper Bucks, estimated another 200 jobs will be added once the campus is complete, bringing the employment roster to about 575 employees.

No timeframe or end-date was given for the campus’ completion.

When it opens, the emergency department at St. Luke’s Upper Bucks will replace the service at the Quakertown facility, less than two miles away. Emergency calls should be made to 911.

After those services move, a roughly $4 million renovation project will begin at Quakertown in July, Pfleiger said.

St. Luke’s Quakertown will retain its name and will offer expanded behavior health services to patients once renovations are completed.

“Seeing the reinvestment that St. Luke’s is making in the Upper Bucks region not only improves access to care but also improves economic development, workforce opportunities and improved community-oriented projects,” said Danielle Bodnar, executive director of Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday’s event was a chance for visitors to get a glimpse of the hospital at the corner of Route 663 and Portzer Road in Milford Township, and meet with St. Luke’s representatives.

While no opening date has been announced, officials said they expected a December opening.

“Now we have the state-of the art facility [to reflect] the care we provide,” said Nicole Yoder, a St. Luke’s pulmonary and critical care physician.

Pfleiger said St Luke’s committed to using local suppliers as much as possible.

“We made an attempt to use local panels for the building, which were supplied by a vendor in Quakertown, and we used American steel, 100 percent,” he said.

Homey touches drawn from the property’s original farming use and farmhouse were incorporated into the design. These details help create a relaxed atmosphere for visitors and patients during an otherwise stressful experience, Pfleiger said.

The company used locally produced artwork and furniture, and incorporated stone, wood and other natural materials in the building. These elements, he said, “make it part of the community.”


$53M construction project should mean delays on 309 in Bucks, Montgomery

Work will begin Monday on a $53.5 million project to repair a 9-mile stretch of Route 309 known as the Sellersville Bypass, an area which includes a heavily traveled business corridor and could impact commuters.

The work, which will run from Richland Township south to Hatfield will be performed by James D. Morrissey Inc., a Philadelphia general contractor.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said lane restrictions will be in place Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and possibly weeknights from 7 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. through mid-December.

The lane closures over the next several weeks will allow crews to reconstruct and pave the shoulders in order to shift traffic onto the temporary pavement before the end of the year under Stage 1 construction.  Once the new pattern is in place, activities over the winter will include center median and inlet reconstruction in this southern section of the project limits.

The project is being financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.

Grand View Health announces $200 million expansion project

-rendering of Grand View Hospital renovations

Grand View Health has announced a 5-year, $200 million investment in new facilities and improvements.

As part of the improvements, the Sellersville-based community health system, which serves Bucks and Montgomery counties, is building a 170,000-square-foot, 5-floor hospital expansion adjacent to Grand View’s existing hospital in Sellersville.

The new addition will include an emergency department, radiology suite, cardiac lab and operating rooms, intensive care unit, and private inpatient rooms. Construction on the new addition is already underway and expected to be completed by 2024. Renovations to existing hospital floors are also already underway.

“Today we take a significant leap forward… in new, state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to the health and wellness of our community,” said Robert Pritchard, chairman of the board of trustees for Grand View Health.

Grand View’s investment will also pay for upgrades and new offerings in Pennsburg, Hatfield and a cancer center which is in the planning stages at a yet-to-be-named location near the hospital in Sellersville.

In addition, a new Grand View Health outpatient center will be located in Dublin. The 13,000-square-foot facility will include primary care with walk-in availability, physician offices and a full imaging suite. The building is expected to open in 2021.