Sewickley Presbyterian says work to create fellowship hall at 'pink house' soon will begin
By Bobby Cherry
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Plans to turn the so-called “pink house” into a fellowship center are moving forward.
Within a “few months,” passers-by will begin to see exterior work occur at the Sewickley Presbyterian Church-owned property at 202 Beaver St., church member and spokeswoman for the project Nancy Merrill said.
Church leaders are working with contractors on the final process before work begins, she said.
Some interior work has been completed in the interim “but it's not observable” from the outside, Merrill said.
The property became the epicenter of debate in 2012 when leaders of the church announced plans to demolish the 3,000-square-foot home built in the mid- to late-1800s and replace it with a youth and fellowship building for church and public programming. The home was a private residence until about two years ago.
Final drawings and cost estimates are expected over the next few months, Merrill said.
Church leaders have said their reason to expand was to allow for more space for church and community groups who use the property for meetings.
“The church currently provides meeting space for dozens of community organizations during the week to the extent that our own church programs often have no available room in which to meet,” Merrill said.
She said the new space “will provide wonderful spaces for youth activities, adult classes and meetings and for nonprofit groups within the community.”
The plan will add 46 parking spaces to a lot set to be constructed between the pink house and church.
Church member and project task force leader Tom Graham said he was “pleased that we can now begin to alleviate congestion around the church on Sunday mornings.”
Currently, churchgoers park on Beaver Street.
“We have contributed to unsafe conditions on Beaver Street for too long, with cars parking on both sides of the street, public transportation passing by and young families and elderly church members having to navigate the traffic situation.”
Church leaders previously said renovating the pink house — which the church purchased for $850,000 — could cost up to $2 million, plus about $3,000 in monthly operating costs for the three-floor home. Leaders estimated that razing the house and building new would cost about $1.1 million, and initially leaders were concerned about the cost of renovating, among other factors.
Community members — through work of a grassroots group — had pledged to raise up to $200,000 to contribute to costs of renovating the “pink house.”
“We did not anticipate the level of interest in the community in maintaining the house,” said the Rev. Kevin Long, senior pastor at the church.
“But we listened and we thought about it and we prayed about it, and decided that if we can raise the necessary funds, we would repurpose the house for the church and community use.”
Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sewickley Herald honors: Memorial Day celebration crew recognized
- Quaker Valley students extend their school day — willingly
- Former NFL player to speak at Sewickley Academy on obstacles gays face
- St. James youth in Sewickley say ‘YES’ to helping others
- Quaker Valley property owners could face tax increase
- Leetsdale park, boat ramp could see upgrades