Project Description

Doing the Most Good

Client: The Salvation Army – Western Pennsylvania Division
Location: Avalon Borough, Pennsylvania
Size: 13,150 SF New Building

The Salvation Army purchased the former American Legion Building and site at the end of 2018 with the intent of demolishing the existing building and constructing a new North Boroughs Corps facility to serve the neighboring community. The site is located within a mixed residential neighborhood of apartments and single-family homes, only one block down from the bus line on California Avenue, and the main business districts of Avalon and Bellevue.

RSSC Architecture was given the latitude to make strategic adjustments to the single level design based on a worship and service center prototype developed by The Salvation Army. This enabled the new building to fit on the relatively small site along with zoning compliant parking and setbacks. The new design met all of the programmatic requirements, including a 100 seat Chapel, various multi-purpose rooms, administrative spaces, and a commercial kitchen.

Capable of flexible space conversions, this facility incorporates operable partitions enabling overflow spaces to be created for Sunday worship and multiple sized classrooms for a variety of programs. In addition to the interior reconfigurations, RSSC created a palette of exterior colors and materials that provided a unique building design. This design enriched the prototypical scheme while being universally accepted by the Territorial Administration of The Salvation Army.

RSSC successfully guided this project through design, multiple municipal and county approvals, and ultimately a well-coordinated effort with Owner and Contractor to complete this project in May of 2020. With this creative solution, The Salvation Army can serve many needs of children, families, and seniors in this community from a distinctive facility that enhances the neighborhood, thus enabling them to ‘do the most good’ well into the future.