Franklin County college prepare for freshman

Franklin County colleges prepare for freshmen
Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2014 9:04 pm
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. —
Franklin County colleges are putting the finishing touches on final summer projects in anticipation of the first day of class for students on Aug. 25.

Wilson College in Chambersburg will welcome a new freshman class Wednesday, marking the first class of co-educational,residential students on the campus that was founded as a women’s college in 1869.

The college has made a number of infrastructure upgrades and other changes that are part of its Wilson Today Plan aimed at the college’s goal of financial sustainability.

“What we’re excited about is (that) we’re going to be enrolling the largest class Wilson has seen in 40 years,” said Brian Speer, vice president for marketing and communications.

In the spring, $2.64 million in renovations were completed to McElwain-Davison Hall, one of the campus’ highest occupancy residence halls. The changes will help with the transition to coed.

The work included new paint,ceiling tiles and flooring in every room and new mattresses.Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were replaced, and electrical outlets were added,Speer said.

The lounges, community kitchens and laundry area were updated, and the bathrooms wereupdated to comply with ADA standards.

A multi-million dollar expansion of the college’s library, which began with the demolition of the building’s annex in July, will continue through the fall of next year.

The college plans to spend $12 million to construct a three-story addition that will add 1,300 square feet to the originallibrary, which was built in 1925.

A multi-million dollar expansion of the college’s library, which began with the demolition of the building’s annex in July,will continue through the fall of next year.

The college plans to spend $12 million to construct a three-story addition that will add 1,300 square feet to the original library,which was built in 1925.

Construction on the addition is scheduled to begin in mid-September, with completion slated for the fall of 2015, Speer said.

Upgrades have been made to the athletic facilities to expand and improve locker rooms and bathroom facilities, as well as ensuring ADA compliance.

Penn State Mont Alto has been busy this summer, completing more than $2.6 million in campus upgrades.

“Whenever it is possible, campus operations strives to lighten our own ‘footprint’ and become a more sustainable campus,” according to Ron Swope, director of finance and business for Penn State Mont Alto.

Some of the projects include a new high-tech water chlorination building that provides safe water for the entire campus, a soccer field score board, an audio-visual system in the Multipurpose Activities Center, plus state-of-the -art upgrades to the laboratory classrooms in the Science Technology Building.

That building received the most extensive work of all, said Bradley Kendall, physical plant interim supervisor.

The $1.4 million project includes the renovations of four labs inside the building, new windows, storefront entrance and new roof system, he said. “It just makes for a better learning environment,” Kendall said.

Kendall said this is the first time the building, constructed in 1974, has been renovated.

Other university projects include a new HVAC system in Conklin Hall, which houses the university’s administrative offices, with a cost of $60,000; a new $100,000 ramp entrance for Conklin Hall; exterior door replacement at Wiestling Hall estimated at $100,000; mall area of the campus beautification/sidewalks and lighting for $300,000; remediation building renovation for$128,000; a new scoreboard at the soccer field, $45,000; new sound system in multipurpose activities center for $100,000; spring house renovation for $10,000; new batting cage for $15,000;updates to two labs in the General Studies Building for $62,000, new LED lighting in the parking lot adjacent to Conklin Hall for $12,000;and utility area for sawmill for $169,000.