Thursday, July 1, 2021

Collegetown to Help Revitalize the City of Pottsville

A year ago, the closing of the Giant Supermarket on Progress Avenue and use of the building was somewhat of a controversy, but a year later, the building has new life and all parties involved are happy.

After confirming a little more than a week ago the purchase of the building, Alvernia University made the announcement official at a news conference Thursday morning.

Alvernia officially announced they would turn the old Giant Supermarket into Pottsville Collegetown, just like their the Wilkes Barre and Reading Collegetown, which were both a big success.

Alvernia's current location in the Cressona Mall will relocated to the 16,000 space inside the former grocery story that will offer classes for programs for bachelor's degrees and master's degrees.

The Collegetown Strategy, which Alvernia first successfully implemented in Wilkes Barre 8 years prior, and also Reading, not only allows students to attend and earn degrees locally but also helps in the community's revitalization.

The university also announced that a new business incubator will work with local entrepreneurs and students as well as a new partnership with Lehigh Valley Health network's Joseph McCloskey School of Nursing. 

This is not Alvernia's first visit to Pottsville, after they first opened a small campus in the Thompson Building in 1995 and would later move to the Cressona Mall.

Speaking during Thursday's news conference were Alvernia's Schuylkill Campus Director Cynthia Mensch, Chairperson of the University's Board of Trustees Michael Fromm, President of Alvernia University John Loyack, Provost and Senior Vice President of Alvernia Dr. Glynis Fitzgerald, Vice President, interim dean of the College of STEAM & chief operating officer O'Pake Institute for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship at Alvernia Rodney Ridley, Senator David Argall, Pottsville Mayor James Muldowney, Schuylkill County Commissioner Baron Hetherington, Schuylkill County Chamber of Commerce President Robert Carb, and Owner of the Wheel Restaurent, Savas Logothetides.

"In every case, including Pottsville, partnerships and collaborations have developed with the city, county, state, federal government, and local community leaders led us to this spectacular win-win opportunity.  This is what the Collegetown Strategy is all about, everyone working together for the good of the community" said President of Alvernia University John Loyack.

"We welcome Alvernia University with open arms, we really do" said Mayor James Muldowney, "Today is one of the greatest things for the city's revitalization." said Muldowney.

"How indicative is that this project is on Progress Avenue" said Savas Logothetides, "Today marks possibly the biggest component of the Continued Progress Project in Pottsville".

The project is expected to be completed by Fall of 2022.