The Bridge Receives $4 Million State Grant to Boost Renovation of Former Bishop McDevitt Building

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A rendering of The Bridge ecovillage, once completed

A proposed renovation and repurposing of the former Bishop McDevitt High School has new energy as the state announced a $4 million grant for the project.

On Friday, Governor Tom Wolf announced 13 grants totaling nearly $33 million through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), including funds for The ecovillage of the bridge project at 2200 Market St. in Harrisburg.

According to the state, the grant would help fund the renovation of the first floor of the old high school into a facility called the JEDI (Justice, Quality, Diversity and Inclusion) Innovation Center.

When completed, the center will include a community concert/conference hall, library, co-working space, rooftop garden, community kitchen, fresh food cafe and full-service medical clinic, according to a statement from State Representative Patty Kim (D-103).

“This funding will allow this unique building to once again house teaching, educational and recreational opportunities for Harrisburg’s youth,” Kim said. “The creation of the JEDI Innovation Center is an opportunity to enrich the lives of our residents and make our city a better place to call home.

The main building of the Bridge Ecovillage, the former Bishop McDevitt High School

Garry Gilliam, a Harrisburg native and former professional football player, leads the bridge as founder and CEO. He and several partners announced the project at the end of 2019 and solemnly inaugurated it in November 2020.

The grant would help fund the first phase of construction for the planned mixed-use project which includes many components including housing, retail, urban agriculture, education and entertainment.

The 115,000 square foot building served as Bishop McDevitt High School for approximately eight decades before the school moved to a new campus in Lower Paxton Township in early 2012.

A representative for The Bridge could not immediately be reached for comment.

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