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Department of Facility Services

Construction of Orchard Hill — Messiah College's new president's residence and hospitality center


Several years ago, Messiah College's Board of Trustees identified the need for a new president’s residence based on inadequate space at the current residence for comfortably accommodating large formal dinners and receptions for College guests. The Board formed a President's Residence Task Force to start planning for a new residence and hospitality center that would help meet these campus needs. In October 2006, Kathie Shafer, vice president for operations, joined the task force.

The task force meets on a regular basis to review construction progress.

The new residence will be located on the property of the former Musser Farm at the intersection of Grantham and Lisburn Roads across from the main entrance to the College. This location was chosen because of proximity to campus, ample space for parking guest vehicles, and ease of access. The barn and out buildings were removed during fall 2007 and winter 2008; the College identified a firm that removed the buildings for reuse of parts of them at other locations. The farmhouse will remain until May 2008, and students will continue to live in the home until then.

Upper Allen Township has approved all the necessary permits.  Fine Line Homes is the contractor building the residence. Construction began in late Summer 2007 and should be complete in May 2008. The Phipps family will move during Summer 2008 with campus functions at the facility beginning with the 2008-09 academic year.

Usage of space

The new president's residence is divided into two distinct areas with two distinct purposes.  The public space is on the first floor and includes a formal living room, dining room, and catering kitchen for the College's dining services team. This 2,835 square feet space will be used for College events, large receptions, and dining for more than 40 guests.  The side porch can also be used for College events. 

Of the basement area, 1,951 square feet will be finished and used as a recreation room for student gatherings.  The remaining space will be available for the family and College to use as storage.

The private part of the home includes 1,845 square feet of living space on the first floor.  This includes an office, kitchen, dining room, family room, and storage space.  The second floor has four bedrooms and totals 2,605 square feet.

Read Q&A:Orchard Hill — Messiah College's new president's residence and hospitality center

Plans (PDF format)

Updates  (archive)

Pictures of Orchard Hill (finished) -

       Orchard Hill - Front View          Orchard Hill - Side View


July 2, 2008
The facility is nearly completed, and the Phipps family will move in next week.

Front view View from the front door Entrance ramp to catering kitchen
Completed driveway Seeded backyard Completed kitchen

June 9, 2008
Work on the interior of the home continues to be completed on schedule. The next four weeks will focus on completing the site work of the home. The Phipps family plan to move into Orchard Hill in mid-July.

Entry BasementCatering kitchenFamily roomFormal area


May 5, 2008
Work at Orchard Hill continues on schedule. The spring weather has allowed for more work to be done outside. The second floor of the home is nearing completion while work continues on the first floor.

Exterior site work Second floor officeKitchen installationKitchen sink

Painting of formal areaKitchen stove areaKitchen view

April 21, 2008

Stair railingExterior work Formal fireplaceKitchen cabinetsKitchen view


April 18, 2008

Formal entranceFormal area ceilingFormal fireplace
Kitchen cabinet install Upstairs kitchen Private entrance

March 20, 2008
Work continues to be on schedule as the contract is installing flooring; painting; and continuing with interior finishes.

View from the roadFamily RoomPainting of the ceilingRear exterior stairsWood flooring