HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — NFL offensive tackle and founder of The Bridge, Garry Gilliam, announced plans to begin renovating the former Bishop McDevitt school building Wednesday.
Gilliam is a Harrisburg native and Milton Hershey School graduate. He also developed The Bridge to help develop communities and provide “access to basic resources, with a focus on physiological needs and environmental sustainability.”
The Bridge anticipates acquiring five to 30 acres in Harrisburg to create a sustainable “Eco-Village” that will produce healthy, fresh food, clean water, and renewable energy.
“I’ve always been taught, ‘leave a place better than you found it,’” Gilliam said in a statement. “Whether it’s the locker room, an abandoned school building, my community or the planet — I’m going to do my part. We’re doing community development, but we want to do it sustainably.”
Renovations have already started on the building, in addition to the football field notable alumni, LeSean McCoy and Ricky Watters once played. The Bridge says the field will be preserved and repurposed for a community entertainment area.
Development plans include co-working space, housing units, commercial retail, entertainment, and indoor urban agriculture, as part of an AgroFoodTech Innovation Center.
The old William Penn High School in Harrisburg is another site The Bridge has considered acquiring, which has been closed since 2008.