UPPER SAUCON TOWNSHIP, PA - This local university is laying the foundation for a strong healthcare and STEM workforce.
"We are confident that this expansion will soon be a reality for the students that we serve," explains Penn State Lehigh Valley Chanellor, Tina Richardson, "We will continue to align our programming to meet the needs of the region. We know that healthcare is our largest employer and with this in mind, our new third floor will provide an opportunity for students to engage in STEM activities and yes, take that loved organic chemistry class."
Penn State University Lehigh Valley is breaking ground on a near 15 million dollar expansion project. Once completed, the Upper Saucon Township campus will house a dining facility, organic chemistry lab and the Charles W. Dent STEM wing.
"Penn State’s commitment to science, technology, engineering and math education is really much greater than I could have ever imagined," says Dent, who graduated from the university in 1982, "For a large university, it has a very heavy focus."
"It’s fitting that Penn State Lehigh Valley’s future STEM wing will be named after former Congressman Charlie Dent," explains PPL CEO and 1979 Alumnus, Bill Spence, "someone who has dedicated much of his life to strengthening the Lehigh Valley and making a positive impact in people’s lives."
The Center Valley extension of Penn State University hopes the 20 thousand square foot enlargement will help the region meet its healthcare and STEM workforce needs. Inside a virtual reality program of the floor plans, visitors can tour the school’s new laboratory that will accommodate organic chemistry courses, a prep lab, equipment room and lab technician office as well as a lounge made for adult students and veterans and office for STEM tutoring programs, new classroom and two faculty offices.
"It will help us compete in an otherwise crowded higher education marketplace," says Vice President and Executive Chancellor for Commonwealth Campuses, Madlyn Hanes, "and meet the high standards that are synonymous with Penn State and the Penn State brand."
Penn State President, Eric Barron says, it’s about prioritizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and development.
"Given that healthcare is the largest employer in the region, the demand for workers with a background in sciences and technology is a constant," explains Barron, "The new three story addition will provide state of the art facilities to support our students interests in STEM coursework and much needed space, as I said, to create a strong collaborative campus."
The three story expansion to the school’s current Academic Building is set for completion in January 2021.
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