Community Initiatives Grants Announced

Today, we had the privilege of announcing $642,000 total in funding for 16 projects that spur community and economic development in the Greater Johnstown region.

Among the grant recipients is a $50,000 effort to revamp and modernize the east end of Johnstown’s Main Street with lighting upgrades, greenspace improvements, and façade updates to support and promote private development, including some that is already in the works. Currently, Pittsburgh-based developers are finalizing plans to open businesses in two vacant storefronts and make use of the vacant lot adjacent to 517 Main Street, with support from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority, which is spearheading the modernization project.

The most immediate plan includes transforming the former Hey Day Café at 526 Main Street, and opening “Voodoo Brewery Johnstown,” an independently run, licensed location. They will be bringing the same buzz from their experiences in New Kensington to Johnstown and will be actively marketing the City and the opening of the location far in advance and continually throughout the year. (Stay tuned for Voodoo Johnstown’s social media launch next week.)

The big picture is that these are projects that have the potential to create lasting, transformational change for our community. These grant awards build up and expand upon revitalization work that is already underway, provide local match funding to leverage large-scale projects, and help us create a more vibrant city and region by working together.

— CFA President Mike Kane

We also announced two $100,000 Community Initiatives grants: Inclined Plane rehabilitation and the Iron to Arts Corridor for a mile of lighting along a rail trail near Gautier Specialty Metals. Both provide local matches for millions in additional support: a $1.1 million Multi-Modal grant for Iron to Arts and a potential $5.4 million in PennDOT funding for the Inclined Plane.

Inclined Plane Rehabilitation Project: $100,000
The Inclined Plane, Inc.
This grant will help supplement the project with local dollars that must be committed to the effort to make extensive and urgent upgrades: structural repairs and mechanical room, lighting, electrical, and communication equipment upgrades.

Iron to Arts Lighting: $100,000
Redevelopment Authority of the County of Cambria
The Iron to Arts Corridor is an expansive project that encompasses infrastructure improvements, landscape architecture, streetscaping, façade enhancements, health/safety improvements, and trail connectivity through 25 percent of the wards of the City of Johnstown. The grant will fund lighting upgrades along a 1-mile stretch of rail trail along Gautier Specialty Metals. The trail will also serve as a section of the September 11th National Memorial Trail.

Child Care is Good Business: $80,000
The Learning Lamp
This project is a multi-phased initiative that aims to increase access to child care in underserved communities, boost hiring and retention of parents in the workforce, and assist in strengthening the region’s economy.

Vision Together 2025: $75,000
Vision Together 2025
This grant will help fund administration expenses for Vision Together 2025.

Main Street East Modernization: $50,000
Johnstown Redevelopment Authority
This project will revamp and modernize the east end of Johnstown’s Main Street with lighting upgrades, greenspace improvements, and façade updates.

Rolling Mills Building Renovations, Small Metal Arts Lab: $50,000
Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation
This funding will help Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation and Center for Metal Arts undertake the Rolling Mills Office Building renovation and construct a Metal Smithing Classroom at the former Cambria Ironworks site.

Creator Square Administration: $50,000
Creator Square
This grant will cover administration costs for the makerspace and small-batch manufacturing program in downtown Johnstown.

9/11 Trail Link to Inclined Plane Park: $40,000
Conemaugh Valley Conservancy
This project will develop a certified design for a section of the September 11th National Memorial Trail that would connect to the Inclined Plane Riverside Park that is being developed in conjunction with CamTran.

Somerset Lake Nature Park Trail Development: $30,000
County of Somerset
This funding will help continue the development of trails around Lake Somerset. Plans include a county-owned park around the lake with a 5-mile walking trail.

Johnstown Youth Corps: $20,000
Goodwill of the Laurel Highlands
This grant will support summer employment experiences for youth, including job readiness training, career and post-secondary school exploration, and exposure to regional opportunities.

ACRP Gateways & Walkways: $10,000
Alternative Community Resource Program Inc.
ACRP will be coordinating the grass-cutting of vacant property lots and removal of sidewalk weeds throughout Johnstown, in coordination with City Hall and the JRA.

Restoration of the Ludwig House/Clara Barton House: $10,000
Clara Barton House & Garden
This grant will help stabilize the historic house so major renovations can be made over the next one to three years.

Windber Recreation Park Ballroom Feasibility Study: $10,000
Windber Borough
This grant will cover the cost of an architectural analysis to identify improvements that would bring the ballroom to code for full operations and use year-round. The project is part of a large-scale economic development initiative in Windber Borough.

Piazza on the Park: $7,000
Gallery on Gazebo
This grant would support the creation of a piazza in downtown Johnstown in an unclaimed alley. The space is envisioned as a gathering place for civic engagement.

Conceptual Drawings and Cost Estimate for Mixed-Use Building Concept: $5,000
Vision Together 2025 Historic Buildings/Codes Capture Team
This grant will be used to provide conceptual drawings and a cost estimate for a mixed-use building in the Johnstown Central Business District.

Bosler Academy: $5,000
Greater Johnstown Cambria County Chamber
This funding will allow the chamber to continue to organize, promote, and grow a workshop series to help local nonprofits, using the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofits’ Standards of Excellence as a framework.

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