A touch of artistry in Frankstown chambers

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FRANKSTOWN, Pa. (AP) - Mike Woodling of Williamsburg is willing to put his artistic touch on almost anything from a painted wheelbarrow to a motorcycle.

But Woodling’s legacy will likely remain on the walls of local structures, like the Frankstown Municipal Building.

“He did a wonderful job,” Frankstown Township Secretary Beverly Henderson said about the mural Woodling painted at the front of the building’s meeting room. The artwork was part of a remodeling project the township completed last year that updated the former school, which also serves as a voting precinct.

The focus of the mural is a rendering of the red-brick building, as it might have looked in the 1930s and 1940s when the structure was the community’s two-room school. The mural also includes renderings of the veterans memorial that stands at the corner of Frankstown Road and Route 22 and the Korean War memorial that is part of the township’s park in Geeseytown.

“I think that entire mural is absolutely beautiful,” said Ronald McCleary, a Korean War veteran who spearheaded the effort to build the Korean War Memorial in 2011. Seeing that memorial included in the mural, he said, was amazing.

“I never even dreamed of something like that,” McCleary said.

Woodling said he is proud of how the mural turned out and the reaction.

“I started with about three or four old photos of the grade school, then someone loaned me a photo album,” Woodling said.

“Then, some people who remembered the old school came in and told me about a fence in front of it so I put that in. They couldn’t remember if the had two or three rails, but they did remember how they had to go around the fence to get into the school.”

Blanche Weyant of Scotch Valley Road was one of the people who provided photos and looked for photos to help Woodling. Weyant, 81, was a student at that school in the mid-1940s, along with her siblings.

“When I go in and look at the mural, it brings back memories,” Weyant said.

The school had two classrooms, one for first through fourth grades and the other for fifth through eighth grades. The fifth-through-eighth grades classroom is now the meeting room, and that’s where Weyant spent her school days after her family moved to Frankstown in 1942.

“I still remember where the furnace was in that room,” she said.

As for the remodeling, Weyant praised the township and Woodling.

“I think his mural really adds something to that room,” Weyandt said.

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