Monday, May 4, 2009

SBEC, NAH in spring

Even big blocky buildings look beautiful in spring!

All you SBA Lassies, your alma mater is looking pretty good these days. Within the last couple of years all the 1950s windows were replaced, the backyard is a colorful, modern playground area for the GECAC children at SBEC and the children who attend St. Benedict's Child Development Center on E. 9th Street. And here, during the first couple weeks of spring, even the 10th Street front of the building is a gorgeous site, as all its trees are in full bloom.

The building itself is home to St. Benedict Education Center, of course, with its programs of job development and job placement for parents on welfare. The Erie site is the anchor for a six county program that SBEC coordinates here in northwest Pennsylvania. 2,300 welfare parents came through their programs in 2008, with more expected this year.

St. Benedict Education Center,
aka St. Benedict Academy.

A block and a half west, toward downtown Erie, is the Neighborhood Art House. Forty years ago on the corner of 10th and Holland you'd find, Doubet Jewelers (now home to Hospice of Erie), a huge Sears store and parking lot (now home to the Seawolves baseball stadium and office building), Kerr's Tire Center (which is still there), and on the southeast corner, the Goodyear Tire Building (now home to the Art House). This after school and summer program brings a wide variety of fine arts experiences to over 600 children each year. Their spring term is just about over, with the 5-week summer program set to begin June 29. This week their trees, which border both Holland Street and East 10th Street, were also full of beautiful white blossoms.

The Neighborhood Art House,
aka the Goodyear Tire Building.