The building that exists at 285 East Queen Street has a long and storied history. The land, reserved by Benjamin Chambers–the founder of Chambersburg–for educational purposes was initially established as the private Chambersburg Academy in 1797. As the community and education of Chambersburg grew and changed, the need for a public high school led the Chambersburg Area School District to acquire the site and open Chambersburg Area High School in 1910.
The building underwent huge growth in 1929 when the city of Chambersburg and the Chambersburg Area School District decided to make additions to the existing building, increasing the size and creating Chambersburg High School. But as years passed, even additions to the building to could not accomodate the growing number of high school students, and by 1957 a new high school had been built and the building was reclassified as Central Junior High School. The junior high remained open until 1986, when the building was shuttered.
Though the doors of Central have been closed for nearly 30 years, McKissick Associates has a vision to bring life back to this once vibrant location. Through adaptive reuse, this former school building will be restored and reconfigured to become loft-style apartments, educational facilities and modern office spaces.
Additionally the site will be revitalized using green and ecologically friendly practices under the standards of Green Globes. By the completion of the redevelopment, Central’s grounds will include a 5000 square foot green roof, eco-friendly water usage throughout the buildings and be brought up to modern architectural standards using sustainable materials.