NFL player begins Harrisburg revitalization project

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — NFL offensive tackle Garry Gilliam is heading up a community revitalization project in Harrisburg.

Gilliam is a former Harrisburg native who graduated from Milton Hershey School and he’s the founder of The Bridge Project. Gilliam will release new details of the project Thursday at noon. 

The project will renovate the former Bishop McDevitt school building that has been vacant since 2013 when the Catholic school moved into a new building. 

Gilliam developed the project to provide “access to basic resources, with a focus on physiological needs and environmental sustainability.”

Gilliam won’t own the building. He’ll lease it and plans to create office space and a self-sustaining eco-village. The small village could include homes, stores, and even agriculture.

The Bridge anticipates acquiring five to 30 acres in Harrisburg to create the village that will produce healthy, fresh food, clean water, and renewable energy.

Gilliam made a statement about the project last month, saying, “I’ve always been taught leave a place better than you found it, 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 were notable alumni LeSean McCoy and Ricky Watters once played. The Bridge Project 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. The school has been closed since 2008.

Stay with ABC27 News for the latest on this developing story. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss