COMMUNITY FACILITIES and
| Water Supply |
| Recreation |
Community Facilities Goals
Facilities Recommendations |
this Comprehensive Plan, the term "Community Facilities and
Services" refers to the following:
- Water Supply
potable water and the removal of both wastewater and storm water
is the shared responsibility of the City of Pottsville, the
Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority (GPASA), and the
Schuylkill County Municipal Authority.
City of Pottsville is divided into two sewer districts. The West
End Sewer District, which basically starts at 18th
Street and covers the western portion of the City, drains to the
West End Sewage Treatment Plant, which is located between the
West Branch of the Schuylkill River and the Gordon Nagle Trail
(S.R. 901). The remaining flows drain to the main plant located
between the Schuylkill River and PA Route 61. The Greater
Pottsville Area Sewer Authority (GPASA) operates both plants and
is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the collection
and conveyance system. Improvements to the system have been
typically shared by both the City and the Sewer Authority.
End Sewer District
West End Treatment Plant’s current permitted capacity is
500,000 gallons per day or 0.5 MGD. Discharge is to the West
Branch of the Schuylkill River. The collection system to the
plant features combined storm drainage and sanitary sewer lines
in a variety of sizes. At present, the plant cannot handle the
peak flow of the combined system particularly during rainfall
events of normal intensity and duration. Due to this problem,
the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP)
has initiated a moratorium on new connections to this portion of
Main Treatment Plant’s current permitted capacity is 4,500,000
gallons per day or 4.5 MGD. Average flows to the plant are
around 3.6 MGD. The collection system to this plant also
features a combined storm drainage and sanitary sewer lines in a
variety of sizes. Although not to the degree of the West End
Plant, the Main Sewer Plant also exceeds its capacity during
peak flow rainfall events. Due to this problem, and the probable
need to upgrade mechanical equipment at the plant, PA DEP has
also initiated a moratorium on new connections to this portion
of the system as well.
present conditions and problems at both the Main Sewer Plant and
West End Sewer Plant are causing localized flooding, street
deterioration and basement flooding.
Authority’s major repair, rehabilitation and maintenance
projects have involved the older stone arch culverts running
through the City, and work on these structures continues on a
yearly basis. However, these projects do not alleviate the
conditions and problems stated above that are associated with
the combined storm/sanitary collection system.
City has investigated the feasibility and evaluated alternatives
for separating the combined storm/sanitary collection system.
However, due to prohibitive costs and budget concerns, proposed
projects have never fully materialized. Only some small
separation projects have been completed to date, which are:
West Market Street, 3 blocks from 22nd Street to 25th
Water Street, in its entirety
Revine Street in its entirety
City inhabitants, including residential, commercial, industrial
and municipal users, are provided a dependable and adequate
supply of drinking water and water pressure by the Schuylkill
County Municipal Authority (SCMA). The Municipal Authority began
in 1834 as the Pottsville Water Company and as a legally
chartered Authority in the State of Pennsylvania, it is one of
the County’s oldest governmental bodies. SCMA is the largest
water supplier in the County, providing metered service to
approximately 34,000 customers in the City of Pottsville and
is provided through an integrated system comprised of six (6)
Authority-owned reservoirs, storage tanks, distribution mains
and pump stations. In addition, if a drought situation should
occur, there are three (3) emergency wells available for
service. Pressure-regulating valves have also been installed in
the distribution system to regulate pressure, better serve
customers and provide more adequate fire protection in the
service area. These valves provide an added advantage of
reducing distribution main breaks by maintaining a 24-hour
steady pressure within the system.
Federal Drinking Water Act of 1976, and rules and regulations of
Federal and State regulatory agencies, mandated all surface
water suppliers in the State to have approved water filtration
treatment facilities by 1995. The Authority complied with these
mandates by 1995 and today three (3) water filtration plants
have been constructed to filter and treat water from the
Authority’s six (6) reservoirs for the Pottsville area system.
The following table is a listing of the facilities, the source
of supply, and the service area for each plant.
11 - EXISTING WATER SUPPLY
educational institutions noted in this section are the schools,
colleges, universities and other learning centers available to
Pottsville Area School District
City belongs to the Pottsville Area School District, which
provides public education to students from kindergarten through
grade 12. The District is comprised of three main complexes,
recreational/sport facilities and auxiliary buildings.
in kindergarten through 4th grade attend the John S.
Clarke Elementary Center. This facility provides elementary
education for the District with 52 classrooms along with a
library, gymnasium, music rooms, and a combined
auditorium/cafeteria. An outdoor playground allows children to
enjoy "recess" outside when weather permits. The
District’s bus garage is also located at this facility.
5 through 8 are accommodated at the D.H.H. Lengel Middle School
complex. This facility’s three-story building has 40
classrooms, a library, cafeteria and a 600 seat auditorium. This
complex also includes Martz Hall, containing a large basketball
gymnasium and an Olympic-size swimming pool. The facilities
accommodate high school basketball and swimming competitions,
impressive four-story building sitting high on a hill, the
Pottsville High School has been a landmark in the City since
1933. Housing grades 9 through 12, this facility contains 100
classrooms, a library, boys and girls gymnasiums, a 100-seat
theater, a 1,200-seat auditorium, a planetarium and observatory.
The District’s football stadium is also here, located adjacent
to the High School building.
District provides students with a wide range of educational
courses and opportunities. Children begin instruction in
computer skills at the elementary level. Standard curriculums at
all levels are structured around basic science, math, language,
literature, social studies, and music and art courses.
addition, emphasis is placed on recognizing and developing
individual student needs, interests, and skills. Combined with
required courses, high school students are offered comprehensive
curriculum programs geared to their individual goals and desires
after graduation. Examples of these curriculums include, but are
not limited to, college preparatory, business, and technology
promote balanced development of each student, the District
provides an extensive variety of sports programs, special
interest clubs, and extra-curricular activities accommodating
students of almost any age interest, ability, or athletic
interest and ability.
District continually monitors and evaluates area population
trends with respect to its current student enrollment and to
anticipate future enrollment. Existing facilities are routinely
improved and upgraded, and accommodate their current student
bodies. Fluctuations in student population have been addressed
by restructuring classroom size, however, expansion of existing
facilities would be investigated if a large rise in enrollment
is predicted for the District.
are two Catholic Schools located in the City that are part of
the parochial education system operated by the Diocese of
Saints Catholic School provides elementary education. Open to
students of all religious faiths, this facility offers an
integration of spiritual and academic development to students
from kindergarten through 8th grade. The School also
operates a pre-school program at this facility.
BVM High School accommodates students from grades 9 through 12,
and is also open to students of all religious faiths. Located
high on a hill overlooking the City, Nativity’s four-story
building was designed to accommodate up to 1,300 students. This
modernized facility currently utilizes 30 classrooms, a library,
and a large combined auditorium/gymnasium.
enrollment is diverse. Derived from the City and surrounding
communities, the student body is comprised of individuals from
various religious and socio-economic backgrounds. In keeping
with the standards of the parochial education system, Nativity
offers its students an integration of spiritual, academic,
social and athletic development. The School encourages
recognition of individual student needs and abilities and
provides comprehensive curriculums taught on four levels:
General, Regular, Advanced and Advanced Placement. The
student/teacher ratio is approximately 12 to 1.
students can participate in a wide variety of sports and the
School is proud of the achievements of its students athletes.
Most recently, the girls basketball team won back to back State
Championships. Many extra-curricular activities and special
interest clubs are also available. One notable activity is a
student volunteer program that reaches out to elderly persons in
area hospitals and nursing homes.
have shown Nativity students score higher on the SAT than local,
state and national averages. A high percentage of its student
body is accepted to institutions of high learning, with many
offered scholarships, awards and grants.
Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29
Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29 operates the North and South
Area Vocational Technical Schools (AVTS). North AVTS is located
in Frackville and South AVTS in Mar Lin. These schools provide
training to high school students wishing to pursue vocational
careers. The Intermediate Unit coordinates the AVTS programs and
consulting services for all public school districts in
Schuylkill County. Courses are offered in the Building,
Technical, Industrial, and Service Trades. Students attend
academic classes at their home schools and are transported to
one of the AVTS centers for their vocational training courses.
Intermediate Unit offers many additional services and programs
benefiting the Schuylkill County community, including but not
- The Schuylkill
Training and Technology Center and Schuylkill Career and
Technology Center, offering adults a variety of short-term
Education Programs for all age groups including a Pre-School
and Early Intervention Program and Secondary Special
- Credit and
non-credit Adult Education Courses and Special Interest
Courses available during day and evening hours.
and Continuing Education
addition to the programs featured by the Schuylkill County
Intermediate Unit #29, there are many educational opportunities
available to City and County residents wishing to further their
State Schuylkill, the Capitol College, a branch campus of the
Pennsylvania State University, is located in Schuylkill Haven.
The Schuylkill Campus offers both Bachelor and Associate degree
programs in many fields of study. This facility allows area
residents to remain local and pursue a college degree through a
local educational facilities are the Schuylkill Institute of
Business and Technology, the McCann School of
Business, the Alvernia College Schuylkill Center, the Franklin
Academy, and the Empire Beauty School. All have locations in the
City of Pottsville and offer certification or a two-year
Associate degree in many programs.
a Business/Education Partnership and Team Pennsylvania
Careerlink program have been developed to assist in meeting job
skills training for local workforce demands. This partnership
also focuses on career awareness, school drop out factors and
other social and educational concerns of the Schuylkill County
Quoted from Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce publication
"Schuylkill County Pennsylvania, Charting our Course for
a New Century", 2000.
and supplementary health care facilities are identified as they
typically provide for the medical needs and physical well being
of City residents as well as residents of the greater Schuylkill
Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic
community hospital founded in 1895, the Pottsville Hospital and
Warne Clinic has been providing health care to City and County
residents for over a century.
Hospital has evolved into a modern, full-service general acute
health care facility accommodating over 230 beds, a 200-member
medical staff, and 800 skilled employees. An extensive range of
inpatient and outpatient services are provided including
Ambulance Service; a 24-hour Physician staffed Emergency Unit;
Coronary and Intensive Care Units; General and Same Day Surgery;
Maternity and Pediatric Care; Radiology and Laboratory Services;
a Physical Rehabilitation Unit; and Pharmaceutical Services.
Specialty services and programs have also been added including
an Occupational Medicine Program; an Injury Care Program;
Hospital-based Home Health and Certified Hospice; Inpatient and
Adolescent Psychiatric Units; and even a Sleep Disorder Center.
Hospital also continues to operate the Pottsville Hospital
School of Nursing. Still located across the street adjacent to
the Hospital, the School now has direct access to the main
hospital building by way of an overhead enclosed walkway.
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center is an acute care Catholic
health care facility affiliated with the Daughters of Charity
National Health System.
in Pottsville since 1920, Good Samaritan has also grown and
expanded, offering a staff of over 200 physicians in 34
specialties and over 800 associates providing modern,
comprehensive health care services and programs to area
residents. Services and programs include Ambulatory Services; a
24-hour Emergency Department; Surgical Services; Physical
Therapy; Maternity Services; Pediatrics; Dialysis; and an MRI
addition, there is a Miners Clinic and Lung Rehabilitation
Program, a Center for Drug and Alcohol Counseling and on-going
programs in diabetes, cancer , smoking, CPR, weight control and
are just a sampling of the programs and services offered by the
Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. This institution plans
to continue to grow and stay current with healthcare
advancements to better service the community.
addition to the services provided by area hospitals and medical
centers, Pottsville and Schuylkill County residents also have
other health care facilities available.
patient rehabilitation is offered by the Schuylkill
Rehabilitation Center, an accredited facility, and the American
Rehab Center. Both have locations in Pottsville and offer
Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy along with specialty
programs in Aquatic Therapy, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Sports
Medicine, Psychology and Prosthetics. Each center provides
comprehensive programs designed for individual patient needs.
Schuylkill County Human Services Department coordinates a number
of County- sponsored programs with the private sector. Providing
for the community, these programs include:
- The Schuylkill
County Area Agency on Aging. Considered a model program in
Pennsylvania, this agency provides extensive services for
elderly county residents.
- The Schuylkill
County Mental Health and Retardation Program. Also
considered a model program in Pennsylvania, this program
helps individuals of all ages with temporary or chronic
mental and emotional problems.
- The Schuylkill
County Drug and Alcohol Commission. This commission aims to
prevent drug and alcohol abuse through many educational
awareness programs but also provides help to individuals
currently suffering from these conditions. Programs include
"high risk" youth identification, intervention,
detoxification, and outpatient treatment and rehabilitation
Programs coordinated by the Department are centered on
spousal abuse, children and youth services, a Woman’s Rape
Crisis Center, and the County Commission for Women.
supplementary health care, elderly and retired residents have
many public and private health care facilities available that
provide for senior citizens special needs. Whether temporary or
permanent rehabilitation or medical needs must be accommodated,
or residents simply desire a nice place to retire locally, there
are facilities to meet their needs. Options include
nursing/rehabilitation homes, personal care facilities, assisted
living facilities and retirement homes and communities. Some
facilities offer combined levels of care at one location.
Whatever the level of service or care required, City and County
residents have Quality Care facilities to accommodate them in
their senior years.
the drafting of the 1988 Comprehensive plan, an inventory of
existing recreation facilities was conducted. Those facilities
included tot-lots, playgrounds, multi-purpose areas, and public
as well as private pools. Deficiencies were identified on many
of those sites relating to safety hazards and underutilization.
Since 1988 the City has diligently worked toward the repair and
maintenance of the most heavily used facilities and the closing
of underutilized facilities.
following is a revised, up-to-date list of recreation facilities
currently utilized by City residents.
12 - EXISTING CITY-OWNED
addition to the above list, there are several privately-owned
facilities within City limits. This category includes school
facilities. The City’s "flagship" recreational
facility is the J. F. K. Memorial Pool. The City has recently
obtained a $400,000 State grant to continue upgrades, install a
new slide, and baby pool.
13 - PRIVATE and SCHOOL
offers Pottsville the potential to increase recreation
opportunities for local residents and contribute to economic
development, particularly if it is approached in a regional
manner. A major initiative now underway involves Pottsville and
Tamaqua Borough, who have jointly acquired a $397,000 PennDOT
Transportation Enhancement grant for three primary activities:
Moving the Pottsville terminus of the Reading, Blue Mountain
& Northern Railroad excursion line closer to downtown
Development of a rail to trail project between Pottsville and
Streetscape improvements, primarily in Tamaqua.
Pottsville terminus of the Pottsville/Tamaqua excursion rail
line is currently located on the west side of Route 61 behind a
medical office building south of Mauch Chunk Street. An existing
rail siding will be used to extend the rail northward to a new
terminus that will be established at the City’s Union Street
Parking Lot. The new end point for the excursion will place
passengers in much more convenient walking distance to the
Pottsville central business district. Hopefully, this will lead
to increased business for downtown merchants and encourage
people to explore Pottsville’s other tourist attractions, such
as the Yuengling Brewery, the John O’Hara house, and the soon
to be ready Majestic Theater.
17-mile rail trail between Pottsville and Tamaqua Borough is an
other exciting development for recreation and tourism in
Pottsville. Tamaqua is adjacent to Carbondale, which has
completed a Heritage Plan designed to help the Borough
capitalize on its historic attractions. Tamaqua is only a short
distance from Jim Thorpe, which is a already a major tourist
destination. Completing an attractive physical link from
Pottsville to these heavily visited areas will connect
Pottsville to a new tourist market. The rail trail would be part
of the John Bartram Trail, which is within the Northern Reach of
the Schuylkill River Heritage corridor that extends from
Philadelphia to Schuylkill County.
rail trail is being developed in two sections. The Tamaqua to
Middleport section is an existing PennDOT right-of-way that the
State acquired and graded but never used. The Transportation
Enhancement grant will fund a new trail surface, drainage
improvements and signs for this leg of the trail, which is
already in use informally. Trail planners are still evaluating
the best route for the Middleport to Pottsville section of the
trail. The three options now being considered are:
Along the shoulder of PA Route 209,
Sharing the right-of-way with the Reading Blue Mountain &
Northern Railroad, and
Sharing the right-of-way for a sewer line that would be
constructed along the Schuylkill River after the proposed
Schuylkill Valley Sewer Authority is formed.
initiatives being funded by the Pottsville/Tamaqua
Transportation Enhancement grant are part of a growing awareness
in Pottsville and elsewhere in Schuylkill County about the
potential for increased tourism. Another related project is the
proposed Molly Maguires Auto Tour, a 3 to 4-hour self-guided
trip between Jim Thorpe and Pottsville. A cassette is currently
in production that would describe highlights along a designated
route. The courthouses at Jim Thorpe in Carbon County and
Pottsville in Schuylkill County each played a significant role
in the legal trials associated with the Molly Maguires story.
Pottsville Commission on Tourism has produced a colorful and
informative brochure describing 20 points of interest and 16
murals that can be viewed along a walking tour of Pottsville.
The Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce has retained a
consultant from Milwaukee to evaluate the County and pinpoint
attractions around which sightseeing tours, golfing and other
activities could be packaged with the cooperation of the local
hospitality industry. These and other efforts, such as the
proposed development of Sharp Mountain for hiking, environmental
education and related forms of recreation, are aimed at
developing Schuylkill County as a travel and recreation center,
with the City of Pottsville as a key component.
refers to the growing number of municipalities that are
cooperating to plan and deliver municipal services.
Municipalities in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are recognizing the
benefits of working together to address common objectives.
Participants have used a variety of techniques ranging from
informal agreements and regional planning bodies to formal
mergers. Areas of cooperation most frequently include joint
purchasing, equipment sharing, regional police, shared
recreation services and land use planning. In addition to saving
money through economies of scale, regionalization promotes more
efficient municipal management. In summary, working together is
a common sense approach to problems and issues that do not stop
at municipal borders.
has a history of regional cooperation, especially in the area of
economic development, where the City has long recognized the
need for a countywide approach to modernizing the area’s
economic base. Recently, the City agreed to be part of a study
to assess the feasibility of regional police in Pottsville,
Mechanicsburg, Mount Carbon, Norwegian and Palo Alto (the
Pottsville Area School District). With assistance from the PA
Department of Community and Economic Development, Pottsville
completed an agreement to contract police service to adjacent
Mechanicsburg Borough beginning in January, 2001.
- Ensure that
the best quality and quantity of potable water is available
to City residents.
- Provide for
safe conveyance and treatment of wastewater.
- Provide the
best in education and health care for City residents.
providing safe and enjoyable recreational facilities.
Pottsville’s efforts at attracting more tourists and other
looking for opportunities to share planning and delivery of
municipal services with neighboring municipalities.
- The City of
Pottsville and the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority
have worked well together in the past. One example of these
efforts has been City Street reconstruction projects and
Authority water line repair or replacement projects being
conducted simultaneously, saving time and money. With open
communications and planning, the Authority should continue
to work together with the City of Pottsville for the mutual
benefit of both agencies.
towards completion of the City of Pottsville Official Act
537-Sewage Facilities Plan, which is being prepared for
submission to the PA DEP by the end of the year 2000. The
Act 537 Plan will identify sewage system problems and
recommend corrective measures needed to bring both sewer
plants into compliance. Proposed implementation and
financing methods will also be addressed in the Act 537
- The City’s
Sewer Authority has recently entered into a "Memorandum
of Understanding" with the Schuylkill Valley Sewer
Authority. This agreement will significantly increase the
customer base and sewage flows into the main sewage
treatment plant. This increased "new" customer
base will help with the much-needed improvements to that
- The City
and Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority (GPASA) are
awaiting the Act 537 Plan recommendations and, when
received, the City should work together with GPASA and pool
resources to correct identified problems, especially
storm/sanitary collection system separation.
- Both the
City and GPASA should work toward completing the required
improvements to the sewage collection and treatment system
so that PA DEP will lift its moratoriums, permitting new
connections to both sewer plants, and allowing for the
continued growth of the City.
- The City
needs to continue working on upgrades to its recreational
facilities and work together with the Schuylkill County
Municipal Water Authority, the various schools and health
care providers to provide for the safety and educational
needs of the community.
cooperating with Tamaqua, Schuylkill County and local
non-profit tourist and historic entities to complete
activities being funded under the Pottsville/ Tamaqua
Transportation Enhancement grant.
- Apply to
the PA Department of Conservation for a 50/50 matching grant
to develop a Master Site Plan for Sharp Mountain that will
examine the area’s potential for hiking, biking,
cross-country skiing, environment education, scenic
overlooks and related activities.
monitoring the progress of the regional police study and the
effectiveness of the Pottsville / Mechanicsburg police
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