Homes For Sale in the Perkiomen Valley
Why should you choose to live in the Perkiomen Valley School District?
As a lifelong resident of the Perkiomen Valley, a graduate of the Perkiomen Valley School District, and with a 30 plus year career in real estate, I have a pretty extensive background on the area – knowledge I’ve acquired and opinions I’ve formed on what makes the Perkiomen Valley “tick”, so to speak. That said, I’ve decided to have a little fun and put some of that stuff down on paper. And hopefully, it’ll be a little fun, and even enlightening for you, the reader. So here goes.
Lots of School Kids… Lots of School Buildings
The Perkiomen Valley School District (located in Montgomery County, PA) was formed in 1969 through the merger of the Collegeville-Trappe School District and the Schwenksville School District. “Perk Valley” or just simply “PV” services the boroughs of Collegeville, Trappe, and Schwenksville, and the townships of Lower Frederick, Perkiomen, and Skippack. The District’s administrative offices are located just off of Rt 113 in the Iron Bridge Corporate Center in Rahns. The Perkiomen Valley Schools within the District include four elementary schools – Evergreen in Graterford (639 students), Schwenksville Elementary in Schwenksville (525 students), Skippack Elementary in Skippack Township (765 students), South Elementary in Trappe (586 students). There are two middle schools – PV Middle School East in Graterford (786 students) and PV Middle School West in Lower Frederick Township (605 students). The lone high school is located on Rt 29 between the villages of Rahns and Graterford (1825 students). Note: student totals are 2014 numbers.
A Change was Needed
There were good reasons for the formation of the Perkiomen Valley School District. Both Schwenksville and Collegeville-Trappe were small districts with aging facilities and duplication of efforts. It made financial sense to achieve an economy of scale by consolidating the two districts. But there was another reason. In the 1960s, the Perkiomen Valley was ripe for major business and residential growth. The townships, rural and mostly woodlands and farmlands, offered prime real estate for such development. The District’s administrators knew this and planned for the inevitable population (and student body) explosion. As expected, the 1970s, 80s and 90s saw huge increases in housing and residential population in the Perkiomen Valley. New communities like Maple Hill and Fox Heath in Schwenksville, Cranberry Estates in Graterford, Rittenhouse Square in Trappe, Spring Mount Townhomes and Cedar Hill Townhomes in Lower Frederick, Monroe Court in Skippack and numerous other housing developments in Perkiomen and Skippack Townships all added thousands of homes and many more thousands of residents to the area. To put it into perspective, the total population in the Perkiomen Valley in 1970 was 16,956. At the last census in 2010 the population was 37,677 – a 122% increase since 1970. Now, in 2019, that number is surely higher. The Perkiomen Valley – not so rural anymore.
In 1976, the construction of a new high school building was completed. It was a simple two story rectangular shaped building with parking lots on 3 sides and athletic fields spread out in the back. The 1980 graduates were the first class to complete all 4 years of high school in the new building. I was part of the class of 1981, so the building and all its facilities were still very new – a nice change from the antiquated classrooms I had experienced in grade school and junior high.
Construction Site Visit
In the 1970s my parents, my three siblings and I were living in Schwenksville. I remember one time our neighbor, Mr Garges, took his two sons and me to the “new high school being built”. I was buddies with Joe and John Garges and their dad, an electrician, was working at the new high school. It was probably sometime in 1975 when John and I were 12 years old – Joe a little younger. Mr Garges told us to stay in his truck while he went into the building. Right. As soon as he was out of sight, we snuck in a side door, which couldn’t have been ok with the project’s muckety-mucks, and toured what looked to us to be a complete war zone! Open walls, exposed framing, wires and pipes, construction debris and workers wearing hard hats everywhere. We had a blast and nobody got hurt – a great adventure for 3 preadolescent boys growing up in the slow-paced Perkiomen Valley. And just 6 years later I was walking those same halls as a high school senior – minus the open walls and exposed framing!
That original 1976 building, although still standing, has undergone many renovations and expansions since the 1980s and is barely recognizable now. The athletic fields in the back, where I played baseball and ran on the cross country and track teams, are now part of a “campus” of schools including Evergreen Elementary, PV Middle School East, playgrounds, parking lots, and roads. From the late 1990s through the 2000s my son Ben and daughter Nicki attended all three schools on this campus, which gave me many opportunities (teacher conferences, sporting events, theatre productions, etc) to visit the grounds of my old high school. I always enjoyed those visits.
The Housing Explosion Cometh
Here’s another memory I have of those years. I mentioned that I was on the cross country and track teams in high school. I think high school let out around 2:25PM. We’d hit the locker room, change into our running gear and head out for a 2 mile warm-up on the “Kagey Road Loop” – down past the football stadium, left on Wartman Rd, left on Kagey, left on Trappe Rd, left into the student parking lot, and back to the stadium for stretching exercises. By about 3:10PM, we’d be ready to start our practice for the day. And guess what? On that Kagey Road Loop we’d see maybe 2 cars on Wartman, often no cars on Kagey, and maybe 3 or 4 cars on Trappe Rd. Better chance of seeing a deer or a fox on Kagey Rd than a car. But that was all BC – Before Cranberry (Estates), one of the big housing developments built in the 1980s and 1990s. There are a few more cars on those roads now – AC – After Cranberry (Estates)!
After high school graduation, I attended Shippensburg University, graduating in 1985. I worked in the corporate world for a few years, then moved back to the Perkiomen Valley School District where I bought a home in the Maple Hill community of Schwenksville. I earned my license and started a real estate career at my father’s firm in Schwenksville. Working in the real estate business, helping people buy and sell homes, gave me a front row seat to all of this growth and development in the Perkiomen Valley. More than 30 years later I still work in the business as a real estate broker, now with RE/MAX Achievers in Collegeville. My father, after 45 years in real estate, closed his business and is relaxing in his retirement years.
I’ve handled many hundreds of real estate transactions in my career with many more (I trust) in my future before I decide to follow my father into retirement. Naturally, many of these transactions involved homes in the communities mentioned previously in this article – Cranberry Estates, Spring Mount Townhomes, Cedar Hill, Rittenhouse Square, Fox Heath to name a few. As for Maple Hill, I couldn’t say for sure how many of these homes I’ve sold – definitely in the dozens.
The Perkiomen Valley and the Perkiomen Valley School District Today
Since the district’s formation in 1969, the Perkiomen Valley Vikings, sporting the team colors – orange and brown – have completely spread throughout the 6 municipalities making up the school district. In Lower Frederick, along Rt 73, what once was a huge cornfield is now the PV Middle School – West. In Skippack Township, what once was an elementary school is now a 4H Center; a new elementary school having been built in the 1990s on what had been farmlands and woodlands. In the small borough of Schwenksville, the Claude K Kulp Elementary School, where I learned “readin’, riting’ and rithmatics” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is no more. It was demolished in the late 1990s and a grand new school – Schwenksville Elementary – was erected in its place.
90% of 2018 Perkiomen Valley High School graduates are going on to Collegeville – see video from Channel 10 here.
Hit the Cut-off Man!
I must say I’ve enjoyed my front row seat watching the area grow over the past 30 plus years. As a kid… as a student… as an athlete… as a parent… as a homeowner… as a real estate agent. But it won’t stop there. Someday, when my time here is done, I plan on a final resting place in the cemetery just north of Schwenksville Elementary School and next to the Rotary Club baseball fields, where I played ball as a kid and coached my son as a parent. From that final resting place, I expect to keep my front row seat… listening to future baseball coaches instructing their young outfielders to “hit the cut-off man”. And watching the Perkiomen Valley continue to grow into a vibrant, bustling community filled with diverse people with diverse passions, hobbies, employment, and dreams.
By Rick Sheppard, Collegeville Real Estate Agent, Perkiomen Valley Class of 1981
Listed below are some of the desirable communities located in the Perkiomen Valley School District. Please click on any of the community links for an updated list of homes for sale in that community:
Cassel Mill At Skippack, Cranberry Estates, Fairview Estates, Monroe Court, Rittenhouse Square, Northgate at Cranberry, Traditions at Skippack, College Park, Governors Walk, Birchwood, Claymont at Collegeville Perkiomen Greene
Local Charities supporting our Local Community
Bread Community Food Pantry Inc. – When you shop at www.smile.amazon.com Amazon donates .05%.
The Daily Bread Community Food Pantry is the fourth largest food pantry in Montgomery County, serving approximately 300 families or 1,200 individuals each month.
The pantry serves a broad area in Montgomery County – from the northern reaches of Perkiomenville and Gilbertsville to the southern areas of Collegeville and Eagleville. It is overseen by the Community Action Development Commission (CADCOM), the leading anti-poverty agency in Montgomery County.
Unlike many other food pantries, the Daily Bread Community Food Pantry attempts to provide a full week of emergency food for all those it serves. It aims to provide personal care products not covered by Food Stamps that hit hard at family food shopping budgets. This includes items like toilet paper, feminine care products, diapers and wipes, and hygiene supplies.
The pantry also provides food for special populations. For example, there are diabetic and gluten-free food and supplies, food for beloved family pets, and special packages for new mothers or guardians that include things like formula, diapers, and wipes.
For individuals or families who just miss the poverty threshold that offers access to state and federal food, the food pantry provides food and supplies from private donations.