The pastor of tonight plans to present the church's property committee with a tentative financial offer from community members that would pay for the renovation of a Beaver Street house targeted for demolition.
The Rev. Kevin Long said a few residents from the Sewickley community have approached him to ask if the church would be willing to spare the at 202 Beaver St., if the community could raise enough funds to pay for renovations.
Long said he would present the offer tonight to the members of the session, the governing body responsible for making decisions on the future of the house.
Whether the session will accept the offer isn’t up to Long.
“I don’t know what they’re going to say,” Long said.
Long, who has served as pastor of the church for six months, said he thought it was unfortunate that so much misinformation was circulating about the house and the church’s construction plans.
Plans to raze the property for a youth and education center have upset a number of residents who believe the home should be saved because of its historic value. Several petitions have circulated through local neighborhoods and an online petition garnered 600 signatures in a week, 200 from Sewickley, about 150 from surrounding communities, and 250 from out of state.
Church officials have estimated that it would cost $1.5 million to $2 million over and above the property's purchase price to make the house usable for center purposes.
Renovation costs would also have to include the price of installing new elevators, bathrooms and other necessities required by law, Long said, in addition to future ongoing maintenance and energy costs. Long said changing the would also require a redesign of the project.
The church posted information on its website detailing the proposed project. To read about the proposed plans, click here.