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Alvernia plans Pottsville 'CollegeTowne'

It's been a year and a half since the Giant store in Pottsville shut down. Officials gathered Thursday to begin the transition into a campus of Alvernia University.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — The doors to the Giant supermarket in Pottsville closed in the summer of 2020, but they'll soon open again as part of Alvernia University.

Alvernia University has its main campus in Reading. Its community-based campus at the Cressona Mall will soon close and make way for a new, improved one at the former food store location.

"Education can transform individuals one at a time, day by day, as well as an entire community," said State Sen. David Argall, (R) 29th District.

"It is bigger, and it allows us to build some things that we couldn't from a lab perspective in our current location," said Alvernia University President John Loyack. "There'll be new nurses coming out of this building, biology labs, chemistry labs to support them. There'll be a business incubator."

Loyack says half of the money for the $6 million renovation project comes from a state grant. The city is also committing $250,000.

"I think people see the value of education, working with entrepreneurs to help develop the community, what this will mean as a hub in a downtown in a community. I think people get it, and it's been very well received," said Loyack.

That includes a former critic, who worried about how the property would be used after the Schuylkill County commissioners voted to buy it.

"Yes, I was critical of some of the plans, but ultimately, everyone ended up rowing the boat in the same direction," said Savas Logothetides, executive director of the Pottsville Area Development Corporation. 

"One of our biggest fears and mine as commissioner was that there would be another property in Pottsville left unused," said Schuylkill County Commissioner Barron Hetherington. "Repurposing this whole building, this was a fantastic idea. This is what needed to happen."

"To be able to bring a financial institution with the reputation that Alvernia University has to downtown is indicative of where Pottsville progress is going," Logothetides added.

There's no set date for construction. A spokesperson for the university says officials plan to start sometime in the spring. The plan is for university doors to be open for classes by the fall of 2022.

📰 BREAKING NEWS | CollegeTowne begins in City of Pottsville; Alvernia set for $6 million renovation project in downtown facility at 500 Progress Ave. Read the full story ⬇️ http://ow.ly/GB9F50HFLfh

Posted by Alvernia University on Thursday, January 27, 2022


Pottsville CollegeTowne Update

Posted by Alvernia University on Thursday, January 27, 2022

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