York Armory transformation: Family-centric space planned
A historic York building is getting a facelift, changing its military roots to a focus on family. The state armory along North George Street will soon be a kids center, drawing kids and parents from across the county.
“We want this space to be really alive,” said Jessica Brubaker, cofounder of Keystone Kidspace.
Barb wire and bars is not the most inviting environment. But in a few short months with a whole lot of investment, the old York Armory is set to become a space that creators hope every family will want to visit.
“We wanted a space where kids can experiment and figure out what their interests are. If it’s art or robotics and have all the things play together,” said Jennifer Tansey, cofounder of Keystone Kidspace
Tansey and Brubaker have lofty goals for this 1913 built building. The two mothers, founded Keystone Kidspace, with the idea of bringing family centric programming to downtown York.
“We want it to change a lot. We want it to be a space where you keep wanting to come back to,” Brubaker said.
Part of the downtown revitalization, the cofounders realized there is plenty of activities for the adults, but family programming is limited. Enter Keystone Kidspace.
“It’s going to be filled with creativity and energy and multiple activities going on all at one time,” Tansey said.
Costing just over $200,000, the York Armory, with its location near the Codorus Creek and in the budding Northwest Triangle, was the perfect spot. Now, making it the perfect fit for the community is the next big step.
“We really think it’s a great way to bring the community back into an area that was once design as a community space,” Brubaker said.
Luckily, the building is in good shape. But, it’s going to cost a pretty penny to restore. The state just awarded Keystone Kidspace a $2 million grant. The rest is up to fundraising. Still, Tansey and Brubaker hopes this will be a bright spot for everyone in York County.
“We are also committed to making sure that the space is genuinely accessible to everyone in the community,” Brubaker said.
The capital campaign is in full gear, with a goal to raise $6 million for renovations and to get this project started. If all goes well, Keystone Kidspace will be open for business in the spring of 2020.