Monday, April 12, 2010

Student safety, comfort to get even better

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend time with presidents from our sister universities at the quarterly PASSHE Board of Governors meeting in Harrisburg. I always enjoy sharing Bloomsburg’s news, hearing about their schools’ recent achievements and witnessing the board in action as members make the decisions that allow our institutions to prosper.

Among the key orders of business on April 8 was bond financing approval for several construction projects across the State System, including two important projects here at Bloomsburg. This decision allows BU to take the next step in developing these projects that have been on our “wish list” for several years.

One project, a much-needed pedestrian bridge linking Honeysuckle Apartments to campus at the Haas Center for the Arts, will enable students to walk from the apartment complex without crossing traffic on Lightstreet Road. Our facilities management team is still working on the design, so many of the details have yet to be determined; however, this is great news for improving the safety for our students.

The second project calls for a complete renovation of Elwell Hall. Plans include installing air conditioning in the entire building, creating a new lobby and building new student lounges. There’s also the possibly of adding a small pedestrian bridge over Second Street to connect the residence hall with Scranton Commons. More details must be finalized for the Elwell Hall project, but the board’s decision last week enables BU to move forward with both of these projects knowing that appropriate funding will be in place.

We are also conducting a housing study that looks at current and anticipated future student housing needs on campus in the Town of Bloomsburg. The study will be completed this summer and will assist us in meeting our goal of providing a variety of housing options on campus for at least 50 percent of our students.

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