Allentown organizations receive $4 million for capital improvement projects

Written by on December 30, 2020

Allentown organizations receive $4 million for capital improvement projects

By Genesis Ortega

December 30, 2020

The DaVinci Science Center at its current location on Hamilton Blvd in Allentown. With the newly awarded grants, they will build a new facility at Eighth and Hamilton. Photo: Dennisze

Major changes are ahead for four organizations in Allentown. A highly competitive statewide program has awarded one-million dollar grants for projects.

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The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a state-run fund. Organizations apply directly for big capital projects. 

In a joint effort, Senator Pat Browne helped to secure the funding along with representatives Mike Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer. 

He says, given the pandemic and economic recession, this funding couldn’t have come at a better time. 

“I’ve always considered this program a game changer. But for some of these projects, without this program the projects don’t happen,” he says.

The Allentown Housing Authority will demolish eight existing structures at the Little Lehigh housing development to make way for six new buildings and a community center. 

The DaVinci Science Center will use its funding to construct a new facility to be located at Eighth and Hamilton streets, currently a parking lot. 

Half of the new 65,000 square foot facility will be dedicated to a science and arts based learning center, specially equipped labs and workshops, and a 150-seat demonstration theater. 

“This is big city caliber stuff. The DaVinci Science Center, as a piece of that, will be a game changer for those families and children who live in the city, but also for the entire region,” Browne says. 

Additionally, Capital Blue Cross plans to relocate jobs currently outsourced to other parts of the country to Allentown. 

And for all the pets adopted in the pandemic and others, the Lehigh County Humane Society will open a community veterinary clinic and adoption center. 

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