State Grant Helps Economy, Enhances Student Life
Sen. LeAnna Washington Forges Partnership to Address Student Parking Needs
During the next two years, students living at Oak Summit Apartments will see an increase of 46 percent in parking spaces, bringing the total capacity to 490 cars.
The project is being made possible in part with a $1 million state grant announced by State Sen. LeAnna M. Washington at a ceremony in May 2009. The $2.27 million project consists of creating 83 surface spaces during Summer 2009 and constructing a parking deck for 71 additional spaces during Summer 2010. Construction is being phased during the summer so that it will not reduce the amount of student parking during the school year.
"For many students, living on campus is an important part of experiencing a University education. With the availability of University-owned housing, we are able to nurture a close-knit community and give more students the opportunity to form friendships that last a lifetime," says Jerry Greiner, President.
"It is only with the leadership of Senator Washington that we are able to move this project forward at this time. We are grateful for her commitment to enhancing student life at Arcadia by helping us to address issues over limited parking which have adversely impacted both our students and the community. We are also grateful to our neighbors and Cheltenham Township officials for their involvement in making this project a reality," he adds.
President Greiner says that the parking deck "is a more environmentally friendly approach as it will help us to preserve green space in the community by reducing the amount of surface paving that otherwise would be needed." The increase in parking helps respond to the 40 percent growth in the number of students during the past decade, with most of these students living on campus.
"The success of this project demonstrates the positive things that can happen when the University and community work together in a partnership to improve the quality of life for students and residents," says Washington. "As your State Senator, I'm pleased to support projects that enhance economic development, relieve highway congestion, and are sensitive to the aesthetics and the well-being of the community."
Funding for the $2.27 million project includes a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. RACP is a Commonwealth grant program administered by Gov. Edward G. Rendell's Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, and historical improvement projects. More than 45 jobs are estimated to be created by the parking project, with more than $6.2 million in benefits to this region and the state of Pennsylvania.
The remainder of the funding is provided through a 2006 bond designated for capital projects at Arcadia. No University operating funds are being used for this project.