Schuylkill Delegation: $3 Million in State Funding for Alvernia will help to transform Downtown Pottsville

POTTSVILLE – Alvernia University’s new $3 million state grant to turn a vacant, blighted building into the newest CollegeTowne campus is the best news for downtown Pottsville in many years, according to Senator David G. Argall, Rep. Tim Twardzik, Rep. Joe Kerwin and Rep. Jerry Knowles.  Once completed, this campus will serve as a hub for budding entrepreneurs and will support Alvernia’s nursing and health care programs.

“Partnerships have been the cornerstone of growing Alvernia University into a regional comprehensive university and the linchpin to our entry into downtown Pottsville as we begin PottsvilleCollegeTowne. Our thanks for all the community support and enthusiasm for our CollegeTowne initiative and a special thanks to all of our local legislators whose vision and commitment is the spark bringing PottsvilleCollegeTowne to life.” said Alvernia’s president John R. Loyack. 

“This highly competitive grant will help to turn a blighted building into a state-of-the-art college campus,” said Senator Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).  “With the success of the first Alvernia CollegeTowne campus in downtown Reading, this is a proven strategy to revitalize downtown Pottsville and all of Schuylkill County.” 

“This is exciting news for Pottsville as this new CollegeTowne hub will transform a once blighted area in our community into something that will attract the masses and offer a place for the younger population to gather, learn and grow,” said Rep Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill). “Not to mention this allows the university to reach additional students as well as expand their nursing and healthcare programs for our students, who are investing their money and time, to have better access, especially during a time where we are seeing a shortage in this particular line of work.”

“Alvernia University’s new branch campus in Pottsville has the potential to develop the next generation of business leaders and health care professionals to live and work in and around the Pottsville community,” said Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill). “This project is the result of a combined effort between the university, various levels of government and community leaders, which shows what can happen when people work together. I’m excited about this project and the future benefits it can deliver for the people in Pottsville and the surrounding area.”

“This hefty financial investment into our area will greatly assist with improving the Pottsville area as well as further expanding access to education for local and commuting students,” said Rep. Joe Kerwin (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin). “This revitalization project is meant to bring new life to our communities while simultaneously allowing for Alvernia University to offer more opportunities for students with a growing interest in nursing and healthcare. I am pleased that I could assist in this process and look forward to the completion of this project.”

The grant was awarded through the Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP).  The project will redesign and rebuild the property at 500 Progress Avenue, the site of the former Giant grocery store.  Once the campus is complete, it will feature high tech classrooms for 13 bachelor and 5 graduate degree programs.  Included in this will be an anatomy science lab to support Alvernia’s health care and RN and BSN programs.

Contact: Jim Brugger   717.787.2367