Andrew Hohorst 0

Save Meadowbrook: Fight Eminent Domain

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Due to over a decade of increasing enrollment, the school district of Phoenixville has found itself in a situation where it is imperative that they find an appropriate property to successfully accommodate the enrollment of future students. This issue has been apparent to the school district for some time. The school district acknowledges many missed opportunities in the past, when properties could have been obtained, had they not sat idly by.

The land that Meadowbrook Golf Course sits on today, was purchased in 1896 by the direct descendants and family of the current owners, the Campbells. When purchased, it was used for farming purposes. Throughout the1920’s, the men of the family passed away, and the Great Depression took its toll on the family farming business. In 1933, the family revaluated the utilization of the land in an effort to earn a better living, and built the golf course as it stands today.

The Meadowbrook property is home to a historically registered site. During the Revolutionary War, the house that is currently used as the main office for the golf course was the home to General Benedict Arnold.

Over 62 years after the Campbell family purchased Meadowbrook, Phoenixville School District decided to build the high school and middle school on the property adjacent to Meadowbrook. Since then, the owners of Meadowbrook have been open to the school district’s golf teams using the course.

Due to high enrollment rates in the borough, the school district has been looking to acquire properties to expand the services that they offer. Among the numerous properties available for sale over the years that the district chose not to jump on, was one large property on the north end of Phoenixville that ended up becoming a housing development. Another notable property includes a development that was established across the street from Meadowbrook,approximately 113 acres, which trumps the current 55 acre Meadowbrook property by more than half. These two properties are great examples of the potential opportunities for land acquisition for the school district throughout the years.

Due to the fact that the school district hasdone nothing over the past decade to fix THEIR problem,potential properties have been developed. Now, there only two main properties that the school district is interested in. One is Meadowbrook, and the other is the CAT Pickering campus. “If you’re voting yes, then you think this is the only option left for us. I don’t think we’ve reached that point”, directly quoted by school board member Joshua Gould, because he understands that the CAT Pickering campus is a completely viable option for the school district. Nonetheless, on Thursday, November 14th, the school district persistently voted to obtain the Meadowbrook property by eminent domain. “We’ve reached the end of our rope”, stated another board member who voted for the motion.

This spiteful decision of the school district is merely a reaction to discussions that went bad between the school district and the owners of the golf club. The district is seemingly tired of speaking on the subject, and certainly not out of options. The hasty decision to obtain Meadowbrook through eminent domain will result in not only the loss of numerous jobs,but the loss of a family business that has sat on the same piece of land for over a century. Please look further into this situation so that these decisions are not made in haste. Myself, as well as many other citizens of Phoenixville, hold Meadowbrook near and dear to our hearts. Please get to the bottom of this and save a beloved historic fixture of the community of Phoenixville.

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