GB construction Evening Sun

Adding enhanced services, technology and scholarship opportunities

June 25, 2008

HACC’s $8-million transformation of the former North Gettysburg Shopping Center continues this summer with construction of a glass-and-brick façade, tree-lined entrance and innovative Learning Commons.

"The new Learning Commons will combine library information services, instructional technology and academic support resources," said HACC Vice President and Gettysburg Campus Dean Jennifer Weaver.

"Students will have space to work together on group projects and develop the team building and critical thinking skills so important in the workplace.

"Trained staff will be on hand to provide library reference and research assistance, technical support, writing assistance, career services, tutoring and educational support services," Weaver added.

Once the renovation project is completed in spring 2009, students also will find expanded food service options, a larger bookstore, new classrooms for allied health and other courses, a new event space for large presentation and special events, and comfortable spaces for student and faculty gatherings.

Technology enhancements will include an expanded wireless Internet, SMART classrooms, advanced laboratory equipment and state-of-the-art nursing and allied health instruction technology.

"These additions will help students stay competitive and learn the skills needed to start careers in education, business, law enforcement, health care, information technology and many other fields," Weaver said.

Growing demand prompted the college to negotiate the purchase of the entire North Gettysburg Center last year; a move that Weaver said shows the college’s solid commitment to stay in this location.

The adjacent Weis Market store was not included in the purchase.

The college hired JMZ Architects and Planners of Albany, N.Y., a firm that has been involved in projects with 39 colleges in the Northeast, including 21 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 Gettysburg Campus offers 28 associate degree, certificate and diploma programs. Available options include full- or part-time study, day or evening classes, and Internet courses. HACC’s blended courses combine classroom and online study, making learning more convenient. Additional options include nearly 200 programs that can be completed through combined study at the Gettysburg Campus and other HACC locations.

HACC continues to grow as an educational hub in the Adams, Hanover and Franklin County region. The campus offers a selection of classes at satellite locations in Hanover, with daytime courses at the Hanover Hospital Community Health & Education Center and evening courses at South Western High School. Beginning this fall, the campus will implement two high-demand career programs -- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning and Electrical Technology -- at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center in Chambersburg.

"Community college tuition rates remain the most affordable option for students who want to obtain college credit," said Weaver. "Students are finding they can save money and earn credits that will transfer to an ever-growing number of four-year colleges and universities. ‘Guest’ students from other colleges who are home for the summer find HACC a convenient way to pick up credits that transfer. And with our expansion, HACC-Gettysburg also will focus on increasing the pool of scholarship funds to make college even more accessible."

Photo Caption: Groundbreaking at the Gettysburg Campus expansion. Click on the photo for a high resolution image.

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