Chesapeake Energy Corp. dropped $5 million in the Salvation
Army’s kettle May 9 to help fund a new 26-acre campus near NW 10 and N
Pennsylvania Avenue. The move was necessitated by the city’s Core to Shore plan
that calls for a 40-acre city park that would include the site of the SA’s
current square block facilities at 311 SW 5.
“We’re in the way of progress,” said SA Major Dan Proctor.
In kicking off national Salvation Army Week, Proctor said it
was fitting to unveil plans for the new Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope and the $10 million capital
campaign. The SA has been in its facilities south of Downtown for more than 50
The city is working to acquire the park land. Several entities
own land just north of the SA facilities. Across the street to the south, the
city owns the former U.S. Postal Service, and is in the process of razing that
Proctor said he would like to see construction start by June
2012 on the Center of Hope, and then begin moving to the new facilities by the
end of next year. The plan calls for several buildings to be constructed over multiple phases.
Plans call for tearing down the former San Miguel Flea
Market at the new site. County records show the SA purchased that 197,964-square-foot-building
on 26.5 acres for $2.125 in May 2010. The SA also purchased about 13 acres on
the west and south sides of the building for $374,667 in June 2010.
The center will offer services for individuals and families,
including shelter, emergency food provisions, utility payment assistance, rent
assistance, disaster relief, rehabilitation referrals, and classes for
parenting, personal finance and life skills.
Plans for other resources for the needy are also in the
works in that part of town. Up the street at NW 3 and Virginia Avenue, the
Homeless Alliance is developing plans for its WestTown Resource Center.
Teresa Rose, direction of community relations at Chesapeake,
said the energy company wanted to kick in funds to help those less fortunate in
“While the rest of us are experiencing growth and
prosperity, Salvation Army continues to provide tremendous service to the rest of
our community,” she said. “Salvation Army has the opportunity to relocate, and
to rethink their mission of how they deliver their services.”