Commonwealth Charter Academy inks $5M deal to buy former PSECU headquarters

Cyber charter school plans to use about half of 180,000-square-foot building, lease remaining space

Commonwealth Charter Academy purchased the former Harrisburg home of the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, or PSECU. - (Photo / Submitted)

The former Harrisburg home of the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, or PSECU, has been sold for $5 million.

Harrisburg-based Commonwealth Charter Academy, a statewide public cyber charter school, closed on the deal Wednesday for the 180,000-square-foot office building just off Cameron Street, according to Dauphin County deed records.

The complex is adjacent to the Harrisburg Area Community College and the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.

CCA, which has more than 8,000 students across the commonwealth, will consolidate two leased office spaces in Harrisburg and Lower Paxton Township to move into the new building. Ownership of one building will save the nonprofit about $1.2 million per year in lease expenses, according to COO Tom Longenecker.

“We’re out of space,” he said of the local leases that total about 51,000 square feet.

The charter school has about 300 teachers and staff in the local area. In 2009, it had less than 100 with a student base of about 3,000 across Pennsylvania.

The building at 1 Credit Union Place, which has been on the school’s radar for awhile, was originally listed for $9 million in 2013. The asking price was later reduced to $7.9 million, according to online listings.

PSECU moved to a larger headquarters building on nearby Elmerton Avenue in Susquehanna Township in January 2014.

The plan is to begin moving CCA operations in the fall of 2017, with completion by 2019 after current leases expire, officials said. Over the last three years, officials have been looking for at least 80,000 to 100,000 square feet of space with adequate parking to support school growth, Longenecker said.

CCA plans to use about 90,000 square feet initially to house a new family service center, work space for teachers and staff and a new school business office. The larger building will allow the school to conduct mandatory state testing of students on-site.

Currently, CCA has to rent large conference rooms at hotels to test its students.

The Cameron Street facility will accommodate future growth plans for CCA and the school would like to lease space to other organizations and businesses. PSECU maintains a retail branch and the credit union’s investments division, and HACC also leases space in the building.

CEO Maurice “Reese” Flurie said the goal would be to lease spaces to businesses that could provide learning experiences and internships for CCA students. PSECU would provide financial learning experiences for the school, he said.

He also expects to continue expanding into new areas across the commonwealth. CCA currently operates nine family service centers in Pennsylvania.

“This year we’ll be approaching 10,000 students and about 500 employees,” Flurie said.

Dan Alderman of Wormleysburg-based NAI CIR handled the sale of the building.

Location of the building


Jason Scott
Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com.

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