Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts
View photos of the parking lot construction
In recent months, Messiah College has been in conversation with Upper Allen Township regarding the construction planning for the College’s current facility priority, the addition of a new Worship and Performing Arts Center to Climenhaga Fine Arts Center. Through this planning process, the College was informed by the township that municipal regulations require the creation of 200 additional nearby parking spaces in order to accommodate the off-campus guests who will be attending events in the new facility. The College sought an exemption for this additional parking, but was not able to have the requirement waived.
To help meet this pressing need, the College has worked with Century Engineering to develop the parking plan for the area between Old Main and Eisenhower Campus Center, which will necessitate the demolition of the structure currently known as “the Schoolhouse.” In addition to meeting the requirements for constructing the Worship and Performing Arts Center, the new parking area will also provide much-needed parking for prospective students and their families and other visitors near Old Main and Eisenhower Campus Center. Construction on the new parking area is scheduled to begin in late May 2010 and to be completed by the end of August 2010 in time for the start of the new academic year.
Recognizing that many Messiah College alumni, employees, and community friends have shared experiences and memories related to the Schoolhouse, the College has tried to anticipate and answer some of the questions our campus and broader community may have with the following Q&A.
What is the historical background of the Schoolhouse?
The structure currently known as “the Schoolhouse” was built in 1914 as a place to educate the children who lived in Treona orphanage. When the orphanage was re-located from Harrisburg to Grantham earlier that same year, the nearby local school denied the orphans access to its educational program. In response, orphanage officials built their own school, leasing the land from the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home (now Messiah College). The school program was discontinued after a few years, and, when the orphanage was moved to Lancaster County in 1925, the lease on the land was relinquished and the building was sold to the College. Since that time, the Schoolhouse has been used by the College in a variety of capacities, including classroom, lab, and instructional space, and most recently as storage. (Historical Reference: Messiah College: A History by E. Morris Sider, Evangel Press, 1984, pp. 61-62)
What is the Schoolhouse currently used for?
Currently the College is using the Schoolhouse as costume storage for the theatre department.
Has the College considered renovating the Schoolhouse?
Since its construction in 1914, the Schoolhouse has never had restrooms and the College stopped holding classes in that space in 2003 because it did not meet current occupancy codes. The cost to add restrooms, running water, and address ADA issues and other code and occupancy concerns, would be extremely significant and cost prohibitive.
Can the College move the Schoolhouse?
The College has investigated this option, and learned that the structure of the 1914 building is questionable and it would be costly to reinforce the structure for a move.
Aren’t there other locations on campus where parking spaces could be added?
In 2006, when Messiah College completed the campus master plan, one of the issues raised was the lack of parking in center campus for visitors—particularly for prospective students and their families; so an existing parking need had already been identified. Now, the construction of the Worship and Performing Arts Center requires the addition of 200 spaces to campus. Adding a parking lot in center campus and redesigning the existing lots behind and beside Old Main will add 144 spaces. The parking areas will be landscaped. The remaining spaces that are needed will be gained by adding to the Treona Lot at Starry Field.
What will happen to the bell?
The bell will be saved as a tribute to the Schoolhouse in the life of the College. At this time there are no concrete plans for the bell, however, several ideas are being developed and considered.
When will the Schoolhouse be demolished?
Work is tentatively scheduled to begin May 17, 2010.
Will there be blocks of the building available to the public?
There will not be blocks or other parts of the building available for members of the Messiah community or the public in strong part because the building has a fair amount of asbestos that must removed during the demolition process.
Is any part of the building being recycled?
The College is working with the contractor to find ways to reduce the amount of waste generated from demolition of the building and to recycle any possible materials.
What will happen to the theatre items currently stored in the Schoolhouse?Currently the theatre department stores costumes in the Schoolhouse. Several weeks before the demolition of the Schoolhouse and construction of the parking lot begins, the operations division will work with the theatre department to load the costumes to a new storage area.
As Messiah College prepares for the construction of the Worship and Performing Arts Center, there is work related to that construction which will begin this summer. The two main projects include the construction of the parking lot that is needed to help meet the township requirements, and the moving of utilities that are within the footprint of the new building. The parking construction will affect parking for the summer.On Monday, May 17, 2010, the work on the parking lot will begin. The new parking lot will be constructed between Old Main and the Eisenhower Campus Center, which includes removal of the Schoolhouse. This will also mean that access to Boyer Hall, Hostetter Chapel, Murray Library, and Hoffman will be limited to emergency and construction vehicles only during the construction.
August 26, 2010 (Move in Day)
The new parking lot in use on Move in Day 2010.
Phase I Parking (August 20, 2010 Update)
Phase 1 is now complete.
New parking lot looking from College Avenue
New parking lot looking from Eisenhower Campus Center
New parking lot looking towards Eisenhower Campus Center
Phase I Parking (July 2, 2010 Update)
Curbing and sidewalks are now being installed. The sewer line from Eisenhower Campus Center to the area behind Old Main has been completed. The site lighting rough ins will start on July 9th. Base coat paving will start mid to the end of July. The project completion date remains to be August 13th.
Phase I Parking (May 27, 2010 Update)
The Phase I Parking Construction project continues on campus. Construction fencing has been placed around the site and roadways are in the process of being reconstructed. Temporary walkways have been implemented for access around campus. They are located in front of Eisenhower Campus Center (ECC); in front of Boyer Hall; and behind Old Main. There is also an emergency vehicle access which is located between Murray Library and Frey Academic.
Photo May 26, 2010
Photos May 19, 2010
Photo March 23, 2010
Photos March 18, 2010
|Site Logistics Plan Map- Phase I|