Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Alvernia Awarded Pennsylvania RACP Grant to Renovate Former Giant for CollegeTowne Pottsville

Alvernia University announced on Wednesday that the college has received a $3 million grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) to renovate its newly secured downtown Pottsville location at 500 Progress Avenue, for their Pottsville CollegeTowne strategy. 

“Partnerships have been the cornerstone of growing Alvernia University into a regional comprehensive university and the linchpin to our entry into downtown Pottsville as we begin Pottsville CollegeTowne,” said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack. “We are grateful for all the community support and enthusiasm for our CollegeTowne initiative and we owe a special thanks to PA Senator Argall, U.S. House Representative Meuser, PA Speaker of the House Cutler, Governor Wolf and their respective teams for their vision and commitment to provide the spark that will bring Pottsville CollegeTowne to life.”

On July 1st, 2021, Alvernia held a news conference where they officially announced they would be purchasing the former grocery store and turn it into Pottsville Collegetown, just like their the Wilkes Barre and Reading Collegetown.

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.

Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute will partner Schuylkill Campus students with regional entrepreneurs, small-business owners, faculty researchers and industry leaders to enhance economic development in the region. 

“This new branch campus of Alvernia University is the keystone of dedicated community efforts to revitalize downtown Pottsville,” said Senator David Argall (R-Berks/Schuylkill). “Thousands of communities across Pennsylvania applied for this highly competitive funding. Receiving this investment from the state would not have been possible without bipartisan cooperation between city, county, state, and federal officials and community leaders. Thank you to Alvernia University for helping to breathe new life into Schuylkill County.”

“This hefty financial investment into our area will greatly assist with improving the Pottsville area as well as further expanding access to education for local and commuting students, “ said Rep. Joe Kerwin (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin). “This revitalization project is meant to bring new life to our communities while simultaneously allowing for Alvernia University to offer more opportunities for students with a growing interest in nursing and healthcare. I am pleased that I could assist in this process and look forward to the completion of this project.”

“Alvernia University’s new branch campus in Pottsville has the potential to develop the next generation of business leaders and health care professionals to live and work in and around the Pottsville community,” said Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill). “This project is the result of a combined effort between the university, various levels of government and community leaders, which shows what can happen when people work together. I’m excited about this project and the future benefits it can deliver for the people in Pottsville and the surrounding area.”

“This is exciting news for Pottsville as this new CollegeTowne hub will transform a once blighted area in our community into something that will attract the masses and offer a place for the younger population to gather, learn and grow,” said Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill). “Not to mention this allows the university to reach additional students as well as expand their nursing and healthcare programs for our students, who are investing their money and time, to have better access, especially during a time where we are seeing a shortage in this particular line of work.”

In July, Alvernia said the project is expected to be completed by the Fall of 2022.