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In Centre Region, Halfmoon Township Sees Fastest Population Growth

on June 25, 2010 9:39 PM

The action's in the country.

Halfmoon Township had the fastest-growing population among Centre Region municipalities in the past decade, government estimates show.

New U.S. Census projections released this week indicate that about 3,060 people lived in the largely rural township in July 2009, up from 2,368 in July 2000.

That's a 29.2 percent boost, the biggest percentage increase seen in the six-municipality Centre Region from 2000 to 2009, the estimates show.

Patton Township came in second place, with a 17.5 percent increase. It had an estimated 13,286 residents in July 2009.

Ferguson Township was next with a 17.1 percent population increase. An estimated 16,616 people lived there last year.

College Township logged a 10 percent increase, with a projected 9,400 residents last year; State College borough, a four percent increase and 39,898 residents; and Harris Township, a three percent increase and 4,816 residents.

Overall, the Centre Region saw an estimated 9.5 percent bump in population, swelling from 79,460 residents to just more than 87,000.

The township-by-township breakdown of the growth reflects construction patterns observed by the Centre Region Council of Governments, COG Executive Director Jim Steff said.

"Harris Township is probably going to grow significantly in the future, too," he said this week.

He said that township is seeing the two largest proposed developments in its history. One is the 119-acre Rockey Farm, off state Route 45 near Aspen Heights; the other is Liberty Farm, expected to include more than 280 residential units near Route 45 and U.S. Route 322, Steff said.

Other key growth areas in the next few years may include Toftrees, a Patton Township neighborhood that is "only about a third developed," Steff said. If Patton Township supervisors decide to expand or reconstruct the Waddle Road bridge above the Mount Nittany Expressway, he said, it may encourage more rapid development in Toftrees.

In State College borough, any significant population growth will probably come only from vertical development -- that is, the construction of tall residential buildings, Steff said. Most of the borough is already developed otherwise.

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