Plans progress for Wilson College library addition

CHAMBERSBURG >> Chambersburg Planning and Zoning Committee has approved the final land development plan for an addition to be constructed to the John Stewart Memorial Library at Wilson College.

The $12 million project is scheduled to begin as early as July and the library is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2015.

Some challenges from previous land development plans include an upgraded water and gas lines, but they are being looked at, according to Phil Wolgemuth, land use and development director for the borough.

The plan involves restoring the original building, completed in 1925. The 1961 annex will be demolished and replaced with an updated three-story annex and a commons area.

Wilson College President Barbara Mistick told the committee that she was excited to see the “wonderful academic quad” that would be developed on the college.

The building was closed in fall 2011 when the heating system failed. A temporary library was established in the lower level of Lenfest Commons.

As previously reported by the Public Opinion, the college has been working with the state historic preservation office to keep the historic nature of the building.

In April, a land use permit was issued to demolish the annex. The next step in the plan is permitting the relocation of utilities in preparation for demolition, according to Wolgemuth.

Wilson College, founded in 1869 as a women’s college that recently became coeducational, has a fall enrollment of 662, which includes students from 20 states and 14 countries.

Lauren Cappuccio can be contacted at 262-4754.