Future Community Center Gets Money

SUNBURY, Pa. -- Many people in Sunbury recognize this building at the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets as the former Albright Church. It was built in 1927 but closed seven years ago when the church merged with another congregation. It did not stay closed for long. Now the building is known as the Albright Center.

"Our purpose is to convert this into something that will be used on a regular basis," John Shipman said.

John Shipman and Bob Zimmerman are in charge of the Albright Center, which will be a community arts center in Sunbury. State Senator John Gordner and State Representative Linda Schlegal Culver presented the group with a check for $200,000. The state grant money will be used for the center's second floor, which will be a performing arts center.

"Which will make it useful for plays, concerts and all kinds of events," Shipman said.

One group that plans to use the new theater space is Shikellamy High School. School Board Member Slade Shreck tells Newswatch 16 this will allow the theater department to have summer productions.

"It's more time for them to get out there and do their knack. You have your football players out there in the summertime practicing, the theater department would be able to be out there practicing and have some more shows," Slade Shreck said.

When finished this project will cost more than $4 million. Shipman tells Newswatch 16 they will soon start fundraising.

"We will be beginning a capital campaign later this year or early next year," Shipman said.

The Albright Center's bottom level will be used as a banquet facility and can hold up to 300 people. Officials hope to finish the Albright Center by next spring.