New 30,000-square-foot building breaks ground for businesses

Penn State Vice President of Research Neil Sharkey speaks during a groundbreaking for Building 310 in Innovation Park.
Penn State Vice President of Research Neil Sharkey speaks during a groundbreaking for Building 310 in Innovation Park. Photo provided

A new building has broken ground in Innovation Park, and it marks the fifth time GLP Development will build in the community.

The developers hope to have the building, which offers about 30,000 square feet of available space, completed in late 2017. GLP Development has invested more than $60 million in Innovation Park in five years.

GLP Development CEO Bob Barron told the Centre Daily Times in 2014, the last time the company constructed a building, that he has an agreement with the Penn State “to continue to expand incrementally as long as we continue to perform over time.”

The building will be home to Morgan Advanced Materials Carbon Science Center of Excellence. The company will have about 10,800 square feet of space, and the remaining areas of the building will be leased out to other tenants.

“I am absolutely thrilled to see us breaking ground for Building 310 and the opportunities it represents,” Penn State Vice President of Research Neil Sharkey said in a release. “My hope is that this groundbreaking signals the first of many such localized partnerships and the new buildings to house them. Penn State has much to offer and we are all about providing value to our industry colleagues while advancing the work of our researchers and real world training for our students.”

Remodeling complete, academy opened

Walmart recently held a grand reopening at its Benner Pike location.

The company has served State College and surrounding areas for 22 years, according to a release, its store to the east of the borough was in need of remodeling. The project features interactive displays in the electronics department, a pickup desk at the front of the store and “improved store flow, new lighting and larger signage.”

The reopening coincided with the a new Walmart academy, which will serve as a training hub for dozens of associates per week for 21 Walmarts in central Pennsylvania. The academy is housed within the store.

Walmart employs more people in Centre County than all but five other entities — Penn State, Mount Nittany Medical Center, state government, State College Area School District and Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc.

Helping the business community

The Penn State Small Business Development Center helped secure $8.6 million in financing in 2016 for local businesses and helped create or save more than 200 in Centre and Mifflin counties, according to the entity’s 2016 impact report.

The SBDC, a private-public partnership, offers free consultation to entrepreneurs and small businesses in all sectors. It helped open 32 business and organized Global Entrepreneurship Week at Penn State.

Heather Fennessey McWhorter, director for the Penn State SBDC, said she is focused on new ways to help clients in 2017.

SBDC director for Penn State Heather Fennessey McWhorter said that the partnership is rolling out a new mentoring program in 2017. The SBDC will also celebrate its 20th anniversary in October.