$6.3M Project to Renovate, Repurpose Harborcreek Township's Oldest Brick Structure
Penn State Behrend is renovating and repurposing the Federal House, Harborcreek Township's oldest brick structure, in a $6.3 million project, according to a news release Monday.
The building located on Station Rd. will become the new home for the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research and Evaluation (CORE).
Behrend will preserved the original brick structure of the building and connect it to a new, modern-design building, according to a news release.
It will allow CORE to expand its programs, which benefit more than 3,000 youth across the Erie region each year.
The program originally focus only on teen-pregnancy prevention, but it now provides other programs to elementary, middle and high school students. Current programs including one that matches at-risk youth with trained college students and community members at 10 sites across the county and another that creates a comprehensive safety net of school, community and family support resources for positive youth development.
GBBN Architects, which renovated the Erie Art Museum in 2014, created the preliminary design.
The funding will come from private support and the University.
The Federal House is believed to have been built in 1838 by Thomas Bonnell, who was a cobbler. He and his wife raised nine children in the two-story home, which also served as a stagecoach stop, a news release said.
The home was later used as a safe house for slaves traveling the Underground Railroad. Records from the Harborcreek Historical Society indicate a fireplace hid a tunnel.
The house and its surrounding property were donated to Penn State Behrend in 1988. The college has taken steps to preserve the building, but it has not used the house.