Former Chambersburg school has future as apartment building

Local

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A building that sat mostly vacant for more than 30 years is finally being put to use.

What started as a Chambersburg high school then became a junior high will now become an apartment building.

“The 1826 building, actually portions of it still exist,” McKissick Associates Architects partner Vern McKissick said. “It was burned down in 1864 during the Confederate invasion and rebuilt, and then in 1909, it was rebuilt as a new high school.”

The building has been deteriorating since the 1980s and will get a facelift when developers transform it into 28 apartments.

It already has a great location, on Third and East Queen streets, and is within walking distance of the downtown.

“We’re able to help support people of various different income levels, help support our mom and pop shops,” Downtown Chambersburg president Sam Thrush said.

Some pieces of history will still be saved and the architecture of an old school gives the apartments a unique character.

“High ceilings throughout the entire building,” Thrush said. “The third floor, one of the units will have a stage.”

McKissick Associates Architects says construction should be finished by January, which gives people the chance to move-in some months after.

The firm is also working on adding commercial space to a neighboring building and the school’s former gym will be transformed into a residential gathering area.

“I’ve already been approached to lease out our common room next August for Chambersburg High School,” McKissick said.

Chambersburg’s Ice Fest arrives at the end of January and planners are looking for opportunities so that attendees can tour the upcoming building.

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