That is not Frank Scafella in the photograph above. It is former Executive Director Jim Hunt. The photo to the right is Frank. We are leaving Jim Hunt and his lawnmower as a "thank you" to Jim, an eloquent testimonial to Jim's "just get in there and do it" approach to the challenges of Sunnyside's revitalization.
The lawnmower was one of his tools of choice. The computer was another. Take this web site for example. It lays out comprehensively the revitalization accomplishments of the Executive Director and his Board between 2007 and 2012. We will pick up where Jim left off, adding to his narrative as we work to finish the job of Sunnyside revitalization.
So, thank you Jim, not only for the web site but for those six drawers of impeccable files in the Director's office, than which nothing--not even the web site itself--could have been more welcoming to the incoming Director as a guide to the next phase of Sunnyside's revitalization.
Frank Scafella (B.A. West Virginia University, 1964; M.A. & Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 1968, 1972) taught writing and literature in the English Department at WVU for thirty years (1969-1999). He served on Morgantown City Council for sixteen years (1991-2007) and as Mayor of Morantown for four years (1998-2002).
Now retired from WVU (1999) and from Morgantown City Council (2007), Frank continues to serve on the Morgantown Utillity Board (2009-present), the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority Board (2009-present), the Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners (1998-present), and as a Life Member of the West Virginia Botanic Garden Society & Board (2002-present). He was appointed Executive Director of the Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corporation on April 15, 2013.
Frank is a native of Morgantown (b. 1935). He dropped out of high school in 1952, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps in January 1954. He served 6 years, 3 months, and 5 days on active duty. His duty stations include Opa-locka Marine Air Station (Miami, 1954), Kaneohe Bay Marine Air Station, Hawaii (1955-56), Marine Security Guard School, Quantico, Va. (1956-57), the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco (1957-58), the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya (1958-60), and at Camp Lejeune, N.C. where he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in March, 1960. He began his undergraduate studies in English & Art at WVU in June, 1960. Admission to WVU was granted in that Frank had earned his high school equivalency diploma by passing the GED exam while stationed in Hawaii.
Two additional biographical episodes pertinent to Frank's mission as Executive Director of the Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corporation:
1). In the mid nineties, Morgantown City Council approved a proposal by WVU to implement a redesign of Grumbein's Island as a pedestrian plaza in front of the Mountainlair. The project was featured in the WVU Magazine in 1998. It came to the attention of William Hudnut, Director of the Urban Land Institute, who invited Frank to make a presentation on this town-gown initiative at a town-gown conference at Ohio State University in the fall of 1998. At that conference Frank found, on a table in the conference hall, a book that laid out the formation and mission of a collaborative initiative between Ohio State University and the City of Columbus, Ohio. It was called "Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment", an initiative of Ohio Sate's President, E. Gordon Gee, in 1995. Frank brought the "Campus Partners" book home with him to Morgantown where it came to serve as the model for the collaboration between WVU and the City of Morgantown in the formation of "Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corporation" (2002), nicknamed "Sunnyside Up." Ironically, E. Gordon Gee is a former President of WVU.
2). In November 1991 Morgantown City Council established R1-A to replace the R-2 zone for all residential zones in the city except Suncrest which was originally developed as R-1. The R-2 zone, unlike R-1 and R1-A, permits duplex by right with triplex or higher permitted in R-2 on condition of approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The R1-A zone which replaced R-2 permits only single family dwellings, but R1-A came very late to Morgantown. The "Conditional Use" clause in R-2 had already permitted "Sunnyside", and by 1991 "Sunnyside" had spread into Wiles Hill, Highland Park, Woodburn, Sabraton, Greenmont, South Park, First Ward, Evansdale--all across the city. Many owner-occupants in the R-2 neighborhoods had already fled the city by 1991 to escape the "Sunnyside" effects, including the loss of Seneca and Wiles Hill Elementaries. R1-A staunched the outflow.
But de facto it started another, namely of the Rental Owners themselves ("ROA" in the DP editorial cartoon on the right means Rental Owners Association). Today, Baker's Ridge and West Run Road manifest the exact demographics which would by now have replaced the city's residential neighborhoods were it not that R1-A holds strong. This is a fact. If we forget it we condemn ourselves to repeating it. And to make sure we neither forget nor repeat, the Campus Neighborhoods Corporation (CNRC) is here to see that Sunnyside and other campus neighborhoods receive the regulatory and infrastructure support they need to sustain their high numbers of residents in an environment suited to the needs of an urban lifestyle which accommodates the owner occupant as well.
CNRC is proud to be guiding Sunnyside to a new and Urbane style of life. Beechview Place, Jones Place and University Place--each is or soon will be featured on this web site--are primary examples of the housing and related infrastructure that supports this new Urbanity, a lifestyle promised by CNRC to other WVU Campus Neighborhoods in time.