Bethesda News

Phase 2 Plans Approved, Funds Still Needed

On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, Bethesda Mission received the go-ahead from Harrisburg City Council to demolish the old Shamrock Fire Station and replace it with a new building. Initially, the plan was opposed by city officials including the Fire Bureau, so we adjusted the plan so that the new building included an authentic replication of the front facade of the existing fire station. Architect Dave Maule was instrumental in working with the City Fire Chief which paved the way to unanimous support from the city.

The Shamrock Fire Station is not on the national or state registry of historical places, but it does have local historic significance. A pocket park will be constructed with a commemorative marker to capture the history of this fire station including honoring a Shamrock firefighter who died after battling a fire at the Harrisburg Pipe and Pipe Bending plant in 1918.

Bethesda Mission had intended to renovate the existing fire station, but it would cost $700,000 more and result in 700 square feet less space than demolishing and building new — the challenge of raising these additional funds was just not economically feasible.

The new 10,400 square foot, 2-story structure replacement will be a multipurpose facility serving elementary age children and adults with a kitchen that will serve the entire complex. The contracted cost to build this is $2,400,000. A less costly alternative is to contract construction of a 2-story shell with the major HVAC systems and use volunteers to build out the classrooms, offices, kitchen, and storage; the cost for this is $1,495,000. We still need to raise $700,000 to fund this modified option, and we have volunteer building teams to accomplish this.

Our goal is to finish raising funds by fall 2020 and then begin demolition of Youth Center and construction of the new 2-story replacement at that time. We would then be on track to complete Phase II by summer 2021.

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