HARRISBURG – Construction has begun on Bethesda Mission’s highly anticipated Community Center expansion project at 1438 Herr Street in Harrisburg’s Allison Hill neighborhood. The 9,000 square foot facility will house programs for children, teens, and families, doubling the Mission’s efforts to provide positive programming and mentorship, “fireproofing” the lives of kids to prevent them from needing services offered at its shelters as adults. In the coming weeks, a crane will remove the steel beam atop the former printing company building to make room for a full-sized gymnasium. In addition, it will include a multi-purpose room, kitchen, community rooms, classrooms, and a state-of-the-art computer lab, all of which will be handicap accessible. Much needed outdoor play space will also be added. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in December 2018. $800,000 is still needed to complete phase 2: demolishing the old Shamrock fire station and building a one-story structure connected to the gym in order to expand programs and services. A capital campaign is being launched to raise the additional money needed to complete the project. Donations can be made online at BethesdaMission.org/Fireproof or mail a check to Bethesda Mission, PO Box 3041, Harrisburg, PA 17105.