Former Shannock Valley High School makes way for youth center
The majority of the former Shannock Valley High School in Rural Valley is coming down by the end of October to make way for the Shannock Valley Youth Center.
Developers Larry Nelson of Yatesboro and Ed Evans of Rural Valley began demolishing the former high school building on Monday, except for its gymnasium, which will be the central portion of the proposed youth center.
“It's a big job, but we just want to do something nice for the kids and community,” Nelson said. “Our third through sixth grade boys and girls basketball, at Dayton and Shannock Valley (elementary schools), had nowhere to play or practice and couldn't hold home games because their gymnasiums were too small.
“That's going to change.”
The gymnasium ceilings at Shannock Valley and Dayton elementary schools are not regulation height, making the buildings ineligible to host competitive basketball games, Nelson said.
Evans said he and Nelson purchased the building for $150,000 and paid an additional $5,000 for the property.
The building was built in 1954, and the gymnasium was constructed 20 years afterward, Evans said.
Unlike the rest of the building, which sat on a substructure of beams and piers, the gymnasium was built on a solid concrete slab, making its structure more stable and durable, Nelson added.
“The majority of the structure was in worse shape than people thought because the piers and beams had begun to shift,” Nelson said. “There were a lot of stress fractures in the floors and walls.”
Nelson said the pair spent $130,000 to remove asbestos from the 59-year-old building before beginning the demolition process.
The men plan to have the school building razed and the ground leveled and seeded before the end of the October. The majority of the lot will be open green space, while the gymnasium will remain standing in its current location, Evans said.
The pair plans to transform the boys and girls locker rooms into open rooms, which can be rented to host parties. Each room can hold about 45 people comfortably, Evans said.
They plan to build a pavilion behind the gymnasium, which will be available for rentals, he added.
On completion, Evans said, the Shannock Valley Youth Center would be run as a nonprofit organization and host several open-gym nights per week to allow children to play basketball and attend other youth-friendly events, such as movie nights.
Nelson said they are in discussion with the Armstrong School District to hold after-school practices for several sports at the facility.
“The gym at West Shamokin High School just has too many things going on, so it's overrun,” Nelson said.
They hope to have the gymnasium ready to host open-gym nights by mid-November.
When the demolition ends, Evans said he and Nelson hope volunteers will help them finish the project.
Anyone interested in volunteering can send a letter of interest with their contact information to the Shannock Valley Youth Center, PO Box 59, Rural Valley, PA, 16249.
“We're going to need help doing different things in the future,” Evans said. “We're open to all kinds of help.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or email@example.com.
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.
- Kittanning traffic snarls expected as bridge renovation work wraps up
- Kittanning fundraiser to help homeless pit bulls
- Kittanning fundraiser targets purchase of drug-sniffing dog for sheriff’s department
- ‘Drugs Kill Dreams’ celebrates 15th year in Armstrong County
- Ford City council president refuses to share correspondence to Economic Development Administration
- Program in Ford City helps girls build confidence, self-esteem
- Gateway Clipper making 2 Armstrong County cruises in October
- Ford City slow to accept offer to lease closed school parking lot
- Christian radio station off air while on the market