Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Innovative Education and Public Safety through USDA Funding

Bear Creek Community Charter School in Bear Creek Township recently received USDA Rural Development Community Facility Loan funding to construct a new charter school to provide innovative education opportunities for K-8th grade. Photo is an interior architectural rendering of the central commons courtesy of Hemmler and Camayd Architects. USDA photo.

Bear Creek Community Charter School in Bear Creek Township recently received USDA Rural Development Community Facility Loan funding to construct a new charter school to provide innovative education opportunities for K-8th grade. Photo is an interior architectural rendering of the central commons courtesy of Hemmler and Camayd Architects. USDA photo.

Bear Creek Community Charter School has a history dating back to Civil War Brigadier General Paul Ambrose Oliver whose heirs donated the land for the school in 1929.  The original Oliver School was a traditional one-room school house, constructed as a project of the Works Progress Administration (instituted by presidential executive order under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 1935, to generate public jobs for the unemployed).

Currently, Bear Creek Community Charter School operates out of the original school and additional outdated school buildings along a busy highway. Intended for an enrollment of 240, the expanding school now has an enrollment of over 400 with a waiting list of over 100. USDA Rural Development recently announced Community Facilities Program Loan funding of almost $12 million for the construction of a new two-story 63,000 sq. ft. public charter school building. The new school will meet the demand for innovative educational opportunities, including environmental education. Ecology and environmental science is woven into the academic fabric of the school, and each student receives dedicated instructional time specific for environmental education. Students engage in hands-on learning opportunities, participate in field-work (work outdoors), and actively participate in school-wide environmental leadership opportunities. Located on a 97-acre tract, the preliminary plans for the school grounds include an outdoor classroom, interpretive trail, rain gardens, educational stations, and soccer and softball fields. Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015.

(center) Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania State Director; Michael Lombardo, Pittston City Councilman;  Bob Morgan, District Director, Congressman Matthew A. Cartwright’s office;  Joe Moskovitz, Pittston City Administrator and youth from the Pittston Perspective Church proudly pose with the new Pittston City police vehicle. USDA Photo.

(center) Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania State Director; Michael Lombardo, Pittston City Councilman; Bob Morgan, District Director, Congressman Matthew A. Cartwright’s office; Joe Moskovitz, Pittston City Administrator and youth from the Pittston Perspective Church proudly pose with the new Pittston City police vehicle. USDA Photo.

In addition to the new school funding in Luzerne County, USDA also recently granted funds for the purchase of a K-9 police vehicle in Pittston City through the Community Facilities Grant Program. The newly purchased police vehicle is equipped with a harness to transport a K-9 who is currently in training.

The projects provide a significant benefit to rural Luzerne County. The school is providing innovative educational opportunities for young families and the police vehicle is addressing public safety in a city that is in the midst of a downtown revitalization project.

Officials who attended the recent funding announcement at the existing Bear Creek Community Charter School included (L to R) Bill Goldsworthy, Assistant Director, PA Governor Thomas Corbett’s Northeast Regional Office; Walter Mitchell, Mayor, Bear Creek Village Borough; William Harner, Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education; Gia Stoddard, Bear Creek Community Charter School Student; Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania State Director; Congressman Matthew A. Cartwright; Jim Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Bear Creek Community Charter School. USDA photo.

Officials who attended the recent funding announcement at the existing Bear Creek Community Charter School included (L to R) Bill Goldsworthy, Assistant Director, PA Governor Thomas Corbett’s Northeast Regional Office; Walter Mitchell, Mayor, Bear Creek Village Borough; William Harner, Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of Education; Gia Stoddard, Bear Creek Community Charter School Student; Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania State Director; Congressman Matthew A. Cartwright; Jim Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Bear Creek Community Charter School. USDA photo.

One Response to “Innovative Education and Public Safety through USDA Funding”

  1. Alvin says:

    There are loads of great private initiatives too, that combine public safety with private money. This should be encouraged as it frees up tax payer money.

Leave a Reply