The blistering heat did nothing to stop the more than 20 volunteers from starting work Saturday morning on Warminster's Safetytown section of . After more than two years of planning, designing, fundraising and red tape, nothing short of the Rapture would have kept the workers away.
"I'm just thrilled that we're finally here," said Mark McKee, sales coordinator for Safetytown. McKee led the charge to attract local businesses to sponsor a piece of the Safetytown real estate, gathering more than 70 in little more than a year's time.
"They're each going to have their own building with a sign cut and painted by the students at the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology," said McKee. "The business paid for a five-year contract. We've already got a waiting list started for five years from now."
The project started two years ago when then-president of the Warminster Rotary Club Claudia Quinn went to the Warminster Parks and Recreation Department and discussed ideas for a special project for the club with director Karen Whitney. After hatching the idea for an interactive, model village, Quinn got to work raising money and interest for the project.
Warminster resident Greg Hucklebridge of Carroll Engineering Corporation in Warrington donated his time to design the Safetytown site, making sure there was a good mix of sizes and colors among the parcels.
"I couldn't really draw anything up until all the sales had been completed," said Hucklebridge. "Then, it was like putting a giant puzzle together, making sure I didn't have too many reds or blues in one spot, for example."
Whitney requested that the Safetytown buildings be constructed with eco-friendly materials. To honor that suggestion, the plastic lumber composite called Trex has been brought in for the build.
"Greg did a great job making sure that the Trex would work," said McKee. "We had to know that it would withstand the elements."
The official community builds continue today at 9 a.m. and are scheduled for June 5 and 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. McKee hopes to have Safetytown completed by the end of June. The site will be officially dedicated during the Warminster Day celebration on Sept. 10.