There’s a lot going on in New Cumberland, and there’s a good chance you’ve missed some of it.

That’s why the organizers of the New Cumberland Revitalization Initiative are holding a public meeting next week to update people on what the group has been up to over the past two years and what they have planned for the future. .

“One of the challenges of revitalization is that often you can’t see it,” said Don Kibler, New Cumberland Borough Council member and one of the founders of the Revitalization Group. “It’s good that we have some tangible things we can highlight.”

They will talk about all of this at a meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the gymnasium at Hillside Elementary School, 516 7th St., New Cumberland. This will be an opportunity to unveil all revitalization plans and answer questions and suggestions from the public.

Perhaps the largest and most visible of the projects that are part of the revitalization effort is the restoration of the West Shore Theater.

“We needed a big catalytic project to start a lot of other things, and for us theater was that,” Kibler said.

He said a study had been done showing that people who come downtown to watch a movie don’t go home afterwards. On average, for every dollar spent on a ticket, $ 26 is spent in downtown businesses, he said.

The West Shore Theater, 317 Bridge Street, which has been closed for several years, is undergoing renovations, led by the Friends of the West Shore Theater group.

Once construction is complete, it will be more than a movie theater. A retractable screen will be installed and the stage at the front of the theater will be enlarged, which will also make it a venue for live performances.

The plans keep the original theater as much as possible intact, such as the painted ceiling, but the toilets will be modernized to be ADA compliant, a new heating system will be installed, along with a new concession stand and new ones. seats.

Much of the cost of the project is an updated new digital projector, along with stage lighting and improved video and audio equipment. The Friends group is also applying for a liquor license.

The project has so far raised around $ 2 million in donations and grants out of the $ 2.5 million needed.

Kibler said the West Shore Theater will likely reopen by spring.

Another large-scale project will begin in the spring at Hillside Elementary School. This is where four tennis courts fell into disuse.

This project will rehabilitate two of the tennis courts and transform the other two into regulation-size outdoor basketball courts, which will be open to the public, Kibler said.

The group has already raised around $ 220,000 for the project so far through donations.

These projects, and others, all stemmed from a revitalization strategy formed with the help of a consultant a few years ago.

Following the strategy, the organizers formed teams to focus on the economic dynamism of the city; arts, culture and entertainment; housing and property values; safety and health; and the identity and promotion of the community.

Here are some of the projects they have helped bring to fruition over the past year:

  • The Hometown Heroes banners, which now line the streets of New Cumberland, pay tribute to many locals who served in the armed forces.
  • A community garden project, with 26 individual garden beds for residents to use on 12th and Market streets.
  • And the new Iron Bridge Music Fest, which will be an annual event that was first held last month.

While New Cumberland already has a good mix of companies, a lot of the revitalization comes down to recruiting and retaining companies in New Cumberland, he said.

The goal now is to develop strategies to retain and strengthen the businesses they already have and recruit others to open stores in the region in order to improve the overall economy and the city’s quality of life.

Many projects are planned for the future, and more will be detailed at Wednesday’s meeting.