LANCASTER — The Arras Foundation celebrated its new headquarters, the Crescent, on Main Street with a community ribbon-cutting Oct. 2.
The crescent-shaped building was formerly part of the Springs Co. and was preserved and refurbished as a part of downtown revitalization efforts in the city.
The Arras Foundation was created in 1995 after the sale of Lancaster’s local hospital, and has worked for 30 years to improve Lancaster’s community through grant-making, community investment, partnerships, dialogue and learning, said Arras CEO and President Susan DeVenny.
DeVenny said the Crescent is a space for the foundation to continue its work in education and philanthropy, such as the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals’ Lunch and Learn event. There will also be philanthropy events there during the 2023 Give Local campaign, hosted by the foundation.
“As Lancaster continues to grow, the Arras Foundation is proud to highlight the Crescent as yet another example of a transformed building on a downtown campus,” DeVenny said. “We look forward to continuing our work in healthy community building, now as a proud member of the Main Street community.”
Lancaster Mayor Alston DeVenny, Susan’s husband, also spoke at the reception, and said he applauds the Arras Foundation for its multi-million dollar investment on Lancaster’s Main Street.
“The foundation has been an asset to this community for the last 30 years, investing in the city of Lancaster and surrounding areas through their grant-making and other community work,” Mayor DeVenny said. “The foundation’s annual Give Local community celebration is something we all look forward to each year, celebrating causes that matter to all of us.”
Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce President John McCain also complimented the foundation’s commitment to downtown revitalization and said it is “leading by example.”
“You believe in the future of our community and your investment will reap huge dividends for Lancaster County, Fort Lawn, Great Falls and beyond,” McCain said. “You are changing lives and improving the quality of life in our community.”
Foundation Chair Lisa Bridges and past chair Jodie Plyler also spoke at the ceremony, informing the attendees about the construction process and reasoning behind the Crescent name.
Plyler said the building, built in the mid-1980s, was once the corporate headquarters for the Springs Co.
“We chose this building and completely renovated the interior, keeping its unique crescent shape,” Plyler said.
Plyler also thanked all the local organizations involved in the project, which started right before COVID. Chad Catledge, CEO of Perception Builders, led the construction team. Janice Smith, owner/president of Concept Designs, provided interior expertise for the new designs.
Pam Temple was the project manager for the space, and Plyler said her persistence and grace led the way to making the Crescent possible.
“Wherever possible, we were proud to utilize local talent in our renovation project,” Plyler said. “We undertook this work to give the foundation a new home, to create another learning and gathering space in the region, and to provide an example to others who hope to transform existing spaces in Lancaster to new purposes.”
This article was first published in The Lancaster News.