Wilkes Celebrates Completion Of Campus Gateway Project
WILKES-BARRE — Wilkes University on Monday celebrated the completion of its $3.3 million Campus Gateway Project, which provided new campus walkways and new entrances to the Henry Student Center parking lot from South River and South Franklin streets.
The university held an event at the student center to celebrate the end of the project, which also expanded the south entrance plaza to the student center with landscaping and outdoor seating.
“The Campus Gateway Project has transformed Wilkes, resulting in a cross section of walkways that unify our campus. It also helped us achieve a decades-long dream of creating a first-class, residential campus that’s fully integrated into our host city of Wilkes-Barre,” Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy said.
The state Department of Community and Economic Development provided a $650,000 grant in 2016 to enhance the campus with pedestrian and traffic safety improvements.
State Sen. John Yudichak, D-14, Plymouth Twp., and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-121, Wilkes-Barre, joined Leahy at Monday’s event. Wilkes-Barre City Administrator Ted Wampole and City Councilman Tony Brooks also attended.
“With each new investment in its campus, Wilkes University continues its impressive march toward being a nationally recognized small research university,” Yudichak said. “And with every stride, Wilkes improves the fortunes of both their students and the citizens of Wilkes-Barre.”
A pedestrian walkway now connects South Franklin Street to the Henry Student Center and the parking area behind the center.
“The Campus Gateway Project will fully connect Wilkes University, ensure student safety and take additional steps to beautify an already beautiful campus,” Pashinski said. “I’m thankful for the support of Gov. Tom Wolf and the insight and planning of the administration at Wilkes. This project was completed quickly and I’m glad students are already enjoying the finished project.”
The Karambelas East Campus Gateway, constructed in 2015 to connect South Main Street to South Franklin Street, is now connected to new South Campus Gateway with walkways for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The project involved 61,610 bricks for walkways and resulted in 26,884 square feet in new concrete paving. The university also added 50 new outdoor lights and 40 new trees.
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