Harrisburg’s Forum Building: 90-year-old structure gets a $ 90 million makeover

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Forum Building in Harrisburg turns 90 this year. It was inaugurated on September 16, 1931.

For years it housed the state education ministry. Thousands of events took place in the Forum Auditorium.

But when you have a 90 year old building, you have to deal with 90 year old infrastructure. Cramped offices. old wiring, old plumbing, old heating and air conditioning systems – well, that was an afterthought.

Most of the building has been empty for the past twenty years.

But now it’s getting a makeover.

Teams are clearing the top three floors to build 139,000 square feet of new, more open office space. The building will be equipped with a new heating and air conditioning system, plumbing, wiring, fire alarms and fire extinguishing systems, and above all a computer and data network.

Outside the building, dirty surfaces are cleaned and repaired.

South Drive, the street that runs along the main entrance, will be widened to create more efficiency, so they can fit more cars by parking them diagonally.

Three of the main contractors are local businesses: Midline Mechanical from Ephrata takes care of the HVAC, Jay R. Reynolds of Willow Street takes care of the plumbing and the general construction contract went to Wohlsen Construction of Lancaster.

The whole project is expected to cost around $ 90 million. If things stay on schedule, the project is expected to be completed and the building open for business, in January 2023.

It will house approximately eight hundred employees of the Department of Education, the State Library and the State Law Library. And in the Auditorium, the show will continue.


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Jennifer C. Burleigh

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