|Executives John Brown and John Stoffa cut the ribbon and make it official|
|Builder Jim Gentile, flanked by John Stoffa (L) and Ken Kraft (R)|
It's a 3-story, 66,375 sq ft building on 5.36 acres, with 256 parking places, being leased at a cost of about a million dollars a year in rent. After five years, the County can purchase the property.
Human services in Northampton County were previously performed at Easton's Governor Wolf Building and Bethlehem's Martin J. Bechtel Building. Both needed about $4.3 million in capital repairs over the next five years. The Wolf Building was plagued by caving ceiling, lead paint, asbestos and even guano. The Bechtel building lacked security.
|Visitation can take place in safer conditions|
In addition to housing human services, the building will serve as a satellite revenue office and will house the juvenile probation department.
Stoffa reminded everyone of Hubert Humphrey's moral test of government - "how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." He believes Northampton County can now say it passes that test calling the state-of-the-art facility the finest in the state and perhaps, the finest in the country. "It's not just a building. It's a re-dedication of our services to the people of Northampton County."
|Council President Peg Ferraro surrounded by men|
"After eight years, we did it!" said builder Jim Gentile.
"Like giving birth to an elephant," joked Stoffa.
Gentile also thanked Council for "vetting me and waterboarding me."
Children Youth and Family Caseworker Kathy Dilts called it "simplicity in an otherwise confusing system." She stated that morale among workers has greatly improved, a fact that seemed to be borne out by a subsequent tour.
"I love it," Drug and Alcohol's Jane Roma said. "Everything is so new."
|Mary Lou Figueroa (L) and Jane Roma (R) say Hi|
|Kevin Dolan works his staff to the bone, literally|
|Bethlehem Tp Manager Melissa Shafer and Comm'r Tom Nolan|