Merski, Harkins: New project to transform Wayne School building will bring jobs, new community resources to Erie

ERIE, Aug. 14 – An old building will take on new life as a hub of community resources for Erie residents, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the largely vacant Wayne School building will be transformed into multi-use space, with tenants providing job training, courses, affordable health care and other services. Funding comes from a New Markets Tax Credit transaction of $9.5 million that the Commonwealth Cornerstone Group has completed with the Erie Center for Arts and Technology.

“The new center is going to provide services and opportunities that make life easier for residents,” Merski said. “One anchor tenant will be the Wayne Primary Care Clinic operated by Primary Health Network, which offers medical treatment on a sliding scale for low-income patients. 

“Another anchor tenant – The Erie Center for Arts and Technology – offers adult job training programs and expanded high school classes in photography and digital arts. It’s especially exciting to know that new resources are on the way to help Erie residents develop marketable job skills.”

Harkins said, “The project itself is going to offer our community economic benefits in the way of new jobs. The work is expected to create 32 temporary, full-time construction jobs and, after the building is occupied, tenant employers are expected to create 29 jobs and retain 38 jobs paying between $20.75 and $23 an hour. It’s terrific to see new economic opportunities coming to our community.”

Harkins added that according to economic estimates, the project’s construction costs will also support eight indirect jobs, and employers in the renovated building will support seven indirect jobs.