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Shop Demo Depot draws crowd to chamber bash in Mt. Pleasant

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Mt. Pleasant Journal
A sign for Shop Demo Depot at the Mt. Pleasant facility in a photograph taken at the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce Bash. A.J. Panian | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Tay Waltenbaugh, chief executive officer of Westmoreland Community Action (foreground) speaks at the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce Bash at Shop Demo Depot in Mt. Pleasant as Chad Amond, the chamber's president, looks on. A.J. Panian | The Mt. Pleasant Journal
The Mt. Pleasant Journal
Kim Giles, deconstruction manager of Shop Demo Depot in Mt. Pleasant, leads a tour of the facility. PHOTOS: A.J. Panian | The Mt. Pleasant Journal

Chad Amond said he recently observed more than a few of those who entered Shop Demo Depot in Mt. Pleasant have what he described as “that a-ha moment.”

“It's when they come inside and they finally get an idea of what's really in here,” said Amond, president of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, regarding the facility operated by Westmoreland Community Action, a Greensburg-based nonprofit, at the former Cook's Lumber site in the borough.

Of the 60 visitors to the chamber's bash held Feb. 20 at Shop Demo Depot, several got their first look at the operation which accepts tax-deductible donations of surplus and reusable building supplies from businesses, manufacturers and the general public.

“They are seeing what it's all about and how this space is being used,” Amond said.

Chamber members from Greensburg, Latrobe and Murrysville attended the event, along with others from a bit closer to home.

Tay Waltenbaugh, WCA chief executive officer, expressed gratitude to Amond and the chamber for agreeing to hold this month's chamber bash at the 5.5-acre site.

“I really appreciate the association that WCA has with the chamber,” said Waltenbaugh to a crowd which included Mt. Pleasant Borough Mayor Jerry Lucia, borough Manager Jeff Landy and New Stanton Borough Council President Scott Sistek.

“(Shop Demo Depot) is the first social enterprise initiative attempted by the WCA, and there will be more. We want to be a good community partner in Mt. Pleasant.”

The event was highlighted by group tours of the 43,000 square-foot facility led Kim Giles, Shop Demo Depot's deconstruction manager.

“We had the tours to just make those attending more aware of what we actually sold here, and how we obtained those items,” Giles said. “We went through departments for doors and windows, paints and cabinets, the plumbing department and our new furniture showroom.”

First-time visitor Jane Noel, co-owner of Computers Made Easy, a Grapeville-based website development company, came away impressed.

“Landlord-type people would love this,” she said.

Other visitors such as Kate Foor, a graphic designer for Big Frog Custom Designer of Hempfield, had previously been unaware of the business.

“I've driven past this site before, but I didn't realize anything was here anymore,” Foor said. “It's a neat idea ... I really hope it works out.”

Westmoreland County Commissioner Tyler Courtney, who also serves as chairman of the chamber's board of directors, lauded Waltenbaugh and Jack Brown, WCA director of community services, for choosing Mt. Pleasant as the site for Shop Demo Depot.

“I give Tay and Jack a lot of credit,” Courtney said. “With Shop Demo Depot, you're bringing products closer to an area where people can better utilize them. Here, you're right off Route 31, so it's a better situation to do just that.”

Proceeds from Shop Demo Depot benefit WCA programs throughout Westmoreland County.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or