Former Scotland School campus open to development Greene Township OKs land use changes for commercial, residential uses

By Jim Hook

jhook@publicopinionnews.com @JimHookPO on Twitter UPDATED: 02/02/2015 06:55:23 PM EST

CHAMBERSBURG >> The door is open for the owners of the former Scotland School for Veterans Children to bring in hundreds of residential students as well as small shops and residential development. David Newell, president and CEO of Scotland Campus, said the organization is free to forge the relationships that can make opportunities a reality. Greene Township supervisors passed zoning changes. Ohio-based Winebrenner Theological Seminary has transferred the property to the nonprofit Scotland Campus Inc. Both Scotland Campus and Winebrenner are part of the Churches of God General Conference family of ministries. Winebrenner will lease space from Scotland Campus and continue to expand its programming, Newell said. The strategic change fulfills Winebrenner’s original plan for the 185 acres, according to Newell. It puts decision making and management of development in local hands. “To say we are a property management company is far too simplistic,” he said. “The scope of our work includes property management, development and a multitude of additional functions.” Scotland Campus, founded in 2012, will be responsible for starting educational opportunities and bringing parties together with complementary interests, Newell said. Newell’s announcement follows the resolution of zoning issues for the property. Greene Township supervisors on Jan 27 revised the township zoning ordinance allowing for more uses in an agricultural residential (AR) district specifically for reusing the former SSVC. The campus had been zoned low-density residential, and Winebrenner in August sought a change to community commercial so small shops and services might locate there. Neighbors objected to the proposal. The former Scotland School, founded in 1895, predated the township zoning ordinance. Winebrenner in June 2013 purchased the vacant residential school from Pennsylvania. Supervisors elected to change the township ordinance and allow a “higher learning campus” of at least 50 acres with dining, housing and other facilities for students in an AR district. “We are grateful for the help, cooperation and diligence put into the zoning changes on the part of the township,” Newell said. The change also allows for many school services to be open to the general public: fitness centers, health spas, salons and barber shops, massage therapy businesses, small restaurant and ballroom facilities, campus offices, conference and performing arts centers, thrift shops, bakeries, banks and laundries. Other “expanded uses” open to the public require township approval and are dependent on the continued presence of the school: • Business and professional services. • Veterinary clinics. • Art studios. • Repair services, including indoor vehicle repair. • Restaurants without drive-throughs. • Day care centers. • Small retail shops. • Military veterans centers. “We have several areas in which collaborative arrangements will benefit not only the campus, but the community as well,” Newell said. “Prior to the zoning change, we were not free to pursue them. We have been working closely with Shippensburg University to provide the college level courses. Once again, there is interest in serving veterans on the campus.” He said Scotland Campus will focus on Christian education, conferences, events and retreats, banquets and catering, property rental, concerts and business support services. Kristanny Food Service and Catering has opened at Scotland Campus. The local company is supplying meals to Korean students living on campus and is available for weddings, class reunions and business functions. Newell said that Scotland Campus, Broadfording Christian School of Hagerstown, Md., and Global Vision Christian School of Eumseong, South Korea, are negotiating an agreement that will bring 400 to 600 international high school students to live at the Scotland Campus. Some high school students will enroll in college classes. “We are in the early stages of a capital campaign to fund major infrastructure improvements as well as the renovation of structures that will help us achieve our objectives,” Newell said. “We have begun scheduling a series of events, weddings, banquets and retreats.” For more information visit http://wtsconference.com or call the office at 717-552-2220. Jim Hook can be reached at (717) 262-4759.