Aug. 16, 2007
The faculty and staff of HACC's Gettysburg Campus got a sneak preview of expansion plans for the campus at a special kick-off meeting this week. Nearly 150 employees attended the special briefing.

The college has negotiated the purchase of the entire North Gettysburg Center with settlement scheduled for August 30, according to Dean Jennifer Weaver. The adjacent Weis Market store is not included in the purchase though the parking lot and Scott's Tire Service are part of the transaction.

"Purchase of this property shows our solid commitment to stay in this location," said Weaver. "It will be much easier to make improvements and expand to meet community needs when HACC owns the property rather than leasing it."

Weaver also told the assembled employees that JMZ Architects and Planners have been selected as architects for the project.

"Our project team interviewed six of the thirty-five firms who submitted proposals," she said. "JMZ focuses on higher education projects, they have done work for several HACC campuses.

"What's more," she said, "they were involved in HACC's 2004 master planning process, and their presentation captured the essence of what our team is looking for in developing the campus."

The firm, located in Albany, New York, has been involved in projects with thirty-nine colleges in the northeast, including twenty-one community colleges. Twenty-seven of these projects have involved multiple renovations and adaptive re-use, and they have headed four major retail transformations for higher education.

The architects showed some preliminary exterior concepts designed to transform the current retail appearance of the shopping mall to a more collegiate façade. The new exterior will also feature enhanced green spaces where students can gather and study.

The new plan will also focus on current trends in learning commons - student areas which integrate library facilities with study rooms, group study areas and which provide easy access to technology.

"Learning commons are designed for the way students learn and study in today's environment," said Dean Weaver," with special study areas where students can explore information, collaborate on group projects and engage in social interaction."

Benatec Associates will serve as project engineers for the HACC project and Eastern PCM will be the project manager and construction manager.

Programming and schematic design will begin this month. Public advertisement for bids will take place in February 2008 with bids received in March. Construction is scheduled to begin in June and to be completed in January of 2009. Weaver also noted that, in addition to a bond issue, "a major gifts campaign for the project will begin this fall with money raised locally matched by the Pennsylvania Department of Education."

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