Skip to main content

Chester County Press

Kennett Township contributes $4,000 to Kennett HS robotics team

04/11/2017 09:45AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The Kennett Township Board of Supervisors approved a $4,000 contribution from the township to Kennett High School's Demon Robotics team, to help defray team expenses.
The decision, reached at the board's April 5 meeting, came after a presentation by team secretary and marketing director Molly Hohner, a sophomore at Kennett, and adult mentor Christina Gorman, that gave a summary of the team's quick rise to becoming one of the most successful robotics teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
With a current record of 31-7, the 25-member team, which began six years ago, is ranked fourth of 120 teams in the region. Through diligent work and counsel from its 10 active adult mentors, the team built, programmed and tested a robot in six weeks. While Hohner and Gorman gave their presentation, they said that the remainder of the team was at the team's competition – with their robot – at the Mid-Atlantic Region District Championships at Lehigh University.
Gorman told the board that the annual team expenses range between $15,000 to $20,000 a year, much of which is raised independently by the students and their families, with contributions also coming for local businesses.
Gorman said that the robotics team attracts students with a wide variety of interests.
“It's more than robots, and that's the angle we try to push with our team and the high school,” Gorman said. “This isn't just students who want to be engineers. It's also kids who like woodworking and construction. Kennett has a very strong initiative for STEM-based education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and this is a fabulous outlet for that.
“We are helping to grow the STEM initiative in our community,” Hohner said. “We're taking kids who are interested in the STEM program and showing them that anything that they want to do with their mind, with their hands – and anything they can think of that they wish to build, is what they can do with our robotics team.”
The team also received a $1,000 contribution from John Lynch, project developer with TI Hillendale of West Chester.
In other township business, The board approved a motion that the township file an appeal with the Public Utility Commission (PUC), for the purposes of adding the township to an upcoming hearing with the PUC, the Kennett Borough, and the local railroad company to permit the township and the borough to extend trail systems over railroad crossings.
Both the township and the borough's Kennett Trails Alliance were originally denied requests by East Penn Railroad to extend trails over railroad crossings. As part of its 12-mile Kennett Greenway, the township wishes to extend the trail from Victory Brewing Company to Pennock Park, which includes a railroad crossing.
The board approved the mission and vision statements for a newly-formed collaboration between the township and the Kennett Borough that will establish a joint office of economic development. The mission of the department will be to “create shared prosperity by embracing diversity, strengthening neighborhoods and growing good jobs.”
The vision of the department will be to “foster relationships and facilitate equal opportunities in the Kennett community that provide economic sustainability and improved quality of life for all, via strong and cooperative neighborhoods, flourishing community resources, safe streets and thriving commercial districts.”
The statements were drafted by township manager Lisa Moore and borough manager Joe Scalise. Moore said that the new department will be under the supervision of Historic Kennett Square, and that the next step for its beginning will be to select a board to oversee the department.
The board also gave the green light to three planned developments. They gave final plan approval to the Clifton Mill subdivision, which will consist of two property lots on 5.18 acres on Old Kennett Road.
The board also gave final subdivision approval -- with several conditions -- to the Sweetbriar development on 912 South Union Street, a planned 10-acre, 38-unit development of townhomes in the vicinity of the Five Points intersection. The Planning Commission recommended final approval to the supervisors on March 21.
The supervisors were concerned hat before the project proceeds, that the issue of arsenic remediation at the site has properly been addressed by the builders.
"If you recall that during conditional use, the intention at the time to remove everything on site.  we've since dug into alternatives and companies regarding remediation, so ultimately, we are going to be removing all of the material from the site," said Scott Emerson, the builder of the Sweetbriar development.
Finally, after a nearly two-hour discussion with TI Hillendale project manager John Lynch and his attorney John Snyder about issues related to proper lighting, the site of a planned pedestrian trail and sewer easement connections in the proposed Sinclair Springs development, the board granted preliminary subdivision plan approval to the 78-townhouse project being proposed on a 26-acre site on West Hillendale Road.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected] .