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Phoenixville Teen to Restore Landmark, Earn Eagle Scout Rank

Joe Bateman, 17, will refurbish the Griffen Gun display case this fall.

One community service project away from earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the loftiest a boy scout can attain, senior Joe Batemen will refurbish the Griffen Gun display case in Reeves Park.

Bateman, a proud member of Valley Forge’s Troop 73, pitched the project to the Phoenixville Borough Council at the body’s September 11 meeting. Starting in October, the 17-year-old will replace the existing cedar roof with asphalt shingles, repaint the border, and plant a garden around the display case. He will also clean the case’s interior, as well as the cannon itself, and spruce up the pair of Griffen Guns that sit on either side of the gateway.

“I have to say this is a well put together report. I would definitely support it,” said vice president Mike Speck.

Mayor Leo Scoda and borough manager E. Jean Krack each offered qualified endorsements of the project. Scoda said that, given the canons are Civil War relics, Bateman would have to coordinate their cleaning with the Historical Society, while Krack added a professional would have to remove the glass from the display case.

The council agreed that Bateman could move forward with the help of public works director Brian Watson.

The senior, who has until his 18th birthday on January 27 to complete the final component of his Eagle Scout bid, said he got the idea to fix the cannon case from a family friend—Mark Albert of the streets department—and has been working for the past six months to craft a repair plan.

While the plan is ambitious—he estimated in an information packet he provided the council that it would take 130-145 man-hours to complete—he’s confident he has the resources to get the job done.

“I have some experience in construction and my dad is a construction worker himself,” he told Patch, adding that he also knows some local roofers who can lend their expertise.

When the project is over in late fall, Bateman will join the elite rank of Eagle Scout.

“Only two percent of scouts make it,” he added, with warranted pride.

Susan Marshall September 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
What a wonderful project. The Griffen Gun case has needed work for quite a while. I wish Joe success in his goal of Eagle Scout.
RS September 13, 2012 at 03:50 PM
That's awesome. Good luck, we all stand behind you!
Emmett Gruici September 13, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Wishing you the best on your Eagle Boy Scout project to restore the Griffin Gun enclosure in Reeves Park. Work on that enclosure was accomplished about 20 years ago by Kiwanis members as part of the Kiwanis project of adopting Reeves Park for maintenace not normally covered by the borough. over and above what was considered normal maintenance
Brian Peppel September 13, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Thanks Joe for giving back to the community and congrats on Eagle Scout. If you need to recruit volunteers let me know.
Vince LoGreco September 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Good luck Joe! I too earned my Eagle Scout award a mere month before my eighteenth birthday. Your project sounds like a great one!
Nancy Bateman September 13, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I am so proud of you and can't wait until you get started! I am with you all the way! xoxo, Mom
Penny McClimon September 13, 2012 at 09:20 PM
A wonderful way to contribute to the beautification of your community! I know you'll do an awesome job and be rewarded for all your hard work with this project!
tim September 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Hi Joe I am your brother good luck
J.D Malone September 14, 2012 at 03:42 PM
hey joe. good luck buddy and congrats. if you need help from cub scout pack 119, let me know. would love to chip in.
Randy Morin September 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Great idea for a project Joe. Thanks for contributing to your community and congrats!
karlub September 14, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Thanks, Joe, for visiting Council and putting together such a thorough presentation. We are lucky to have your interest, and lucky to have a good relationship with the Boy Scouts.
Joe Melchiorre October 23, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Joe, good luck in your endeavor. You are a patriot.

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