DeSales University to Receive $2 Million in State Funding for University Center Project
Rev. Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, DeSales University president, made a formal announcement at a press conference on Fri., Nov. 18, that DeSales will receive $2 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital program (RACP) funding for completion of Phase 2 of the University Center project, which includes construction of a bookstore and meeting rooms. Father O'Connor was joined by State Rep. Karen D. Beyer (R-131), State Senator Pat Browne (R-16), State Senator Rob Wonderling (R-24), and Carol Halper, district chief of staff, representing U.S. Representative Charles W. Dent (R-15).
"This is a very exciting time for the life of the university, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year," said Father O'Connor. "Through the wonderful generosity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we will be able to complete this beautiful building within the year."
RACP funding is intended to provide economic development and for use in the construction and rehabilitation of existing property or acquisitions.
Father O'Connor stated that when the DeSales University Center facility is completed, it will be an asset to the local community. According to Father O'Connor, it will be available to Lehigh Valley area community groups, businesses, and governmental agencies, as well as the DeSales community. Also, it will be an economic stimulus to the region through construction and permanent staff jobs it will generate.
The $2 million government grant is the largest gift from any source in DeSales history. Beyer officially announced the release of the funds today. Phase II of the University Center project is scheduled to begin next month.
"I can think of no institution more deserving of this grant than DeSales University," said Beyer, in an earlier statement. It is important to acknowledge that not only will the students and faculty of DeSales benefit from this award, but so will the entire Lehigh Valley. I am proud to have assisted the leadership of DeSales, who worked tirelessly in pursuit of the grant award."
In addition to Beyer, Father O'Connor acknowledged the efforts of Senator Browne, Beyer's predecessor in the House of Representatives, Senator Wonderling, and also Congressman Dent, who helped initiate the process a few years ago. He also thanked Senate Majority Leader, "Chip" Brightbill and State Rep. John M. Perzel (R-172) who also have been strong supporters of the project.
"The Lehigh Valley area is considered a hot spot for business location. We have tremendous universities, good infrastructure and great primary and secondary education," said Browne. "DeSales conference rooms will serve a great purpose and put us on the cutting edge. I congratulate Father O'Connor on his vision and success."
Wonderling declared the accomplishment was a team effort and that there was a lot of credit to go around. "Let us never forget that we are all of your public servants," said Wonderling. "This puts the finishing touches to something you and the democratic system agreed to."
DeSales designed a project for a new University Center to allow for more adequate dining facilities, an expanded book store, additional administrative offices and meeting rooms. Phase 1 of the project was completed in October 2003, resulting in the new 26,000-square-foot University Center, designed by Breslin Ridyard Fadaro Architects and completed by Alvin H. Butz, Inc. The facility includes a 500-seat dining space with a large two-story window, state-of-the art food court, a kitchen, lounge, restrooms, an out-door patio, a pedestrian bridge, and a parking area with 185 spaces. It will accommodate 1,600 students. A wireless computer network is available through the $9.7-million building.
Total project costs were estimated at $13.7 million, of which the university has provided approximately $9.7 million, with the Commonwealth being asked to contribute $4 million.
Press Release: DeSales University to Receive $2 Million in State Funding for University Center Project | Posted on: 11/18/2005
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu