Ribbon cutting, ground breaking to mark transition in Shippensburg University housing project Friday
By AMBER SOUTH
Friday will mark the transition into the second phase of a $200 million project to replace Shippensburg University’s eight dormitories with modern, suite-style residence halls.
SU Student Services Inc. and Campus Apartments will host a ribbon cutting for phase one of the project at 4 p.m. under the archway of the new Presidents Hall off York Drive.
It will be immediately followed by a groundbreaking for phase two on the lawn area adjacent to Presidents Hall.
After the ceremonies, several officials with the university and agencies involved in the project will give remarks. They include university President Bill Ruud; B. Michael Schaul, chair of the Council of Trustees; Darrell Miller, president of SUSSI; Warren Burke, vice president of development for Campus Apartments; Roger Serr, vice president for university student affairs; and Ethan Goldbach, president of the Student Association.
Schaul, a 1971 alumnus, said he will represent alumni who once lived in and remember special experiences from the university’s dormitories, which were constructed between 1959 and 1976.
“But we know that we have students today that will live in these residence halls that will have similar experiences,” he said.
Schaul sees the back-to-back ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies as significant steps in the overall plan that began with past students recognizing the need to give their successors the ability to live and learn in a modern environment. He called the upcoming events “a continuation of work that was done by those that came before us in order to carry us into the future.”
The largest construction project in the university’s history began in August 2011.
At $70 million, phase one included accommodations for 924 students in McLean Hall II, Presidents Hall and Seavers Hall. Facilities include multipurpose areas, a state-of-the-art wellness center and a new home for the honors program.
The $65 million second phase will accommodate 922 students in three new residence halls with common areas for student interaction and learning opportunities, and a new green space for outdoor activities. Completion is expected by fall 2014.
Total project completion is slated for summer 2015. Accommodations will be available for about 2,900 students, an increase of about 260.
SUSSI, Shippensburg’s chapter of an independent nonprofit organization that serves the student community, is directing the project. The organization works with Campus Apartments to secure funding. Students’ housing fees go toward the project.
Amber South can be reached at email@example.com and 262-4771.