School Expansion to Provide New Purpose to Historic Downtown Building
Milton Hershey School announced today that Hershey Trust Company has purchased 14 East Chocolate Avenue from The Hershey Company. The building, located in downtown Hershey, Pennsylvania, will be used to support the school as it expands to help more children in financial need reach their full potential.
The iconic building will provide offices and meeting spaces for both MHS and Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning (CHS). CHS also will use the space for its year-long professional development program for new employees ahead of the opening of its first cost-free Early Childhood Resource Center (ECRC) next year.
“We are thrilled to be able to keep this beloved building in the Hershey family, and to repurpose it to enable a brighter future for the children we serve,” said Pete Gurt ’85, President of Milton Hershey School. “We could not have found a better location, right between the MHS and CHS campuses, to give our schools some much-needed space to grow.”
In the future, it is anticipated that the Hershey and MHS Archives will be moved to the same building, and there will be opportunities for community uses such as events and meetings.
Built in the 1930s during the Great Depression, the former Hershey Community Building provided construction jobs for local people at a time when work in chocolate production was declining; it has remained at the center of the local community since its completion in 1932. Over the years, it has fulfilled many civic and educational functions for the entire town and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Most recently, the building was used by The Hershey Company as corporate offices, as well as housing the historic Hershey Theatre in the same complex. The Theatre is being donated to the M.S. Hershey Foundation and will continue to provide cultural and educational programs and events.
“The iconic 14 East Chocolate building is an important part of the tapestry of the Hershey community,” said Michele Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hershey Company. “The Hershey Company has seen tremendous growth during the time when our sales and marketing teams were based in this facility. We are glad that it will now serve the needs of Milton Hershey School as it expands to serve more children.”
Hershey Trust Company is the Trustee of the Milton Hershey School Trust, which funds MHS under Milton and Catherine Hershey’s 1909 Deed of Trust. Hershey Trust Company purchased the building for $6.5 million.