District to save old farmhouse

October 14, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Three years ago, the old farmhouse was deemed to be too termite-ridden, of no historical significance and too far gone for the Greencastle-Antrim School District to put it to any good use.

The district decided to tear it down.

That was then, this is now.

Suddenly, the century-old frame Hager farmhouse near the road at the edge of the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center campus has real value again. It will be reborn as a district-wide computer technology center for the storage and repair of equipment and to house its main computer servers.

Geography is playing a hand in saving the old building, too.

Now on the edge of the district's campus, it will one day find itself in the middle of the campus.

Dick Lipella, business manager for the district, said the 49 acres across from Tayamentasachta that the school board recently bought eventually will be the site of one, possibly two new schools. When that happens, the old farmhouse "will be in the center of everything," he said.


The current technology center is in a trailer behind the middle school, he said.

"It's not very secure," he said.

The board toyed with the idea of moving it into a modular building, but that was cost-prohibitive.

The board took another look at the old two-story farmhouse, which is named after the family that rented it for years. The house came with the farm the district bought in the 1960s that became Tayamentasachta.

Engineers inspected the house and found it to be structurally sound, he said.

The renovation will cost about $50,000, including the roof, windows, doors, siding, heating and air conditioning, security and interior repairs.

The district has a grant for Pennsylvania Conservation Corps, an on-the-job youth training program, for some of the work. It might also recruit students from the Franklin County Career and Technology center to work on the building, along with district personnel.

The project is expected to begin this year.

Cutline: The Greencastle-Antrim School District has decided to renovate the old hager farmstead on the grounds of Tayamentsachta Environmental Center.

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