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Major addition slated for relocated historic Victaulic House in Forks Twp.

By Kevin Lechiski, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 17 2013 11:01:41 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2013 06:23:13 PM CST
FORKS TWP., Pa. -

The historic Victaulic Guest House is in the middle of rewriting its own history.

Back in the fall, the 18th century building grabbed the intrigue of the community when the Victaulic Corporation hired a moving company to relocate the 3,000-square-foot structure several hundred feet back from its original location at the intersection of Uhler and Kesslersville roads.

The 1790 building -- which had been the Uhler Hotel before being purchased and renovated by Victaulic in the 1980s into a guest house -- made the 300-foot journey in October after abutting the roadway for years. The relocation not only moved the historic building safely away from the road, but also improved sight distances for motorists at the intersection, said officials of Victaulic, which develops and produces mechanical pipe joining systems in Forks Township.

Now Victaulic officials are eying a more than 10,000-square-foot addition to the guesthouse on the 3.8-acre property. The planned addition was unanimously granted conditional use approval from the Forks Township Board of Supervisors Thursday night. The Supervisors' decision paves the way for the project to head to the Planning Commission for a fromal land use review.

Victaulic General Manager of Manufacturing Allan Musengo said the addition will be constructed to "replicate as closely as possible" the architecture of the historic building. He said plans call for the addition of 10 bedrooms to the existing three-bedroom guest house, along with two conference rooms, dining room, kitchen area and other amenities.

Victualic's plans were not met with any opposition during Thursday's conditional use hearing before the Supervisors, who gave the approval after about 30 minutes of testimony.

Musengo said the expanded building will continue serving Victaulic business guests and be staffed by two part-time employees. The improved facility, he said, will help attract business to Victaulic and the area. "This will set a nice theme and image for the Victaulic company," he stated.

Forks Township officials complimented Victaulic for the work the company has done over the years to preserve one of the township's oldest buildings.

"I think it's very important what you've done with this old house," Supervisor Robert Egolf said to Victaulic representatives. "You went to the expense to move this building, which was quite a feet. There are very few old homes left in Forks, so saving an old building like this is a wonderful thing you've done for this community."

"The building looks great and will be a really nice showpiece in the community," said Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss.

Musengo said Victaulic is aiming to begin construction on the addition upon receiving the necessary permits.

Victaulic officials say the guest house addition is one of three key projects in the works. Other plans include building a new customer experience center within the company's existing headquarters and developing a new 30,000 square-foot engineering lab to support future research and development innovation.