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Makeover concepts emerge for Lemoyne Middle School

The Real Estate Collaborative, a CAEDC subsidiary, has partnered with an Allentown company to redevelop the former Lemoyne Middle School in Cumberland County. Two public meetings were held this summer to gather input for the project. - (Photo / File)

Two concept plans have emerged for remaking the former Lemoyne Middle School in Cumberland County as part of a planning process that could be finalized by the end of the year.

The two concepts under consideration at this point call for residential use in the back of the property, parking in the middle and commercial and retail uses at the front of the site, which is along Market Street, according to preliminary planning documents released by the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp., or CAEDC, and Lancaster-based landscape architect RGS Associates Inc.

The difference between the two plans is how they envision using the old middle school.

One plan calls for reusing the front portion and existing facade of the school for commercial and retail spaces, but tearing down the back for a new residential building. 

The second plan calls for tearing down the front of the school and replacing it with a new building for commercial and retail tenants. The back of the school would be partially preserved for housing, with a new residential building erected to replace another part of the building. 

Neither concept envisions reusing the entire school, due to its limited parking capacity.

The Real Estate Collaborative LLC, a CAEDC subsidiary and one of the developers on the project, has said its goal is to obtain borough approvals for construction to begin sometime in 2019. RGS was hired to collect community feedback and draft the concept plans.

The next step now is to present the two initial concepts to the borough’s planning commission on Sept. 11 and gain additional feedback on potential revisions to the plans.

The borough council would get a look at the concepts on Oct. 4. From there, CAEDC officials said, the concepts would be refined again and financial feasibility studies would be conducted to decide a future construction path.

The REC and its development partner, Allentown-based Forge Development Group, are then planning to return to the planning commission by December to discuss a final plan that will be pursued for construction.

NAI CIR’s Dan Alderman has been hired to market the property to potential tenants.

The West Shore School District closed the Lemoyne middle school at the end of the 2012-13 school year in an effort to cut costs.

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