A special groundbreaking ceremony was held to announce the beginning of construction on a new Shepherdstown welcome sign last week.
Mayor Jim Auxer was joined Friday morning by Rob Hoxton; Robert and Dorothea McMillan; Howard Mills; Brian Palank; Shepherd University Vice-President for Student Affairs, Tom Segar; sign designer, Bob Shelley, and Paul Woods of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, as well as Shepherdstown Business Association President, Meredith Wait and Shepherdstown Police Chief, David Ransom.
Projected to sit on the north side of Route 480, between the west end of Rumsey Bridge and the Bavarian Inn, the new sign comes as a result of an effort spearheaded by Shepherdstown's Rotary Club.
The sign is to "reflect Shepherdstown's community pride," and "welcoming spirit," according to a press release from club members.
Granted use of the land owned by both the West Virginia Department of Highways, and the Bavarian Inn, the Rotary Club effort was launched following the celebration of Shepherdstown's 250-year anniversary, according to remarks prepared by Rotarian, John Loeffler.
"Visitors to Shepherdstown arriving from Maryland are currently greeted by nothing more than a small, green Department of Highways sign that simply says, 'Shepherdstown.'"
"The current sign is clearly inadequate," he said
The new 4 by 6 foot sign is being funded through money raised since April.
Hoxton Financial Wealth Management, Jefferson Distributing Company, The Station at Shepherdstown, the Corporation of Shepherdstown, Dr. Brian Palank, and members of Shepherd University alumni classes 2009, 2012, 2011 and 2012 are all among those who have offered funding.
The total project is estimated to cost approximately $24,000, with $18,000 has been raised so far.
The project is to be completed by D.L. Lewis Construction of Shepherdstown, with stone framework to match Shepherd's recently completed pedestrian underpass and the new entrance to the Bavarian Inn.
Sensel Sign of Martinsburg will prepare the actual sign, which will read, "Shepherdstown, founded in 1734."
Construction will likely begin the first week of August and is expected to take two to three weeks to complete.