Administrators at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology could find out as soon as next month if they’re getting a $1.5 million grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.
If awarded, it could go toward property developments on the grounds of CPI to accommodate a health and medical sciences building.
There are plans to construct the facility on part of the 20 acres of CPI-owned property behind its main building at 540 N. Harrison Road.
But it’s an idea still early in the works.
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“We have a vision of building a health sciences building,” President Richard Makin said. “It’s a lot of work in terms of conceptualizing it. We have some rendering plans, but there is a long way to go. … Until we break ground, then it just remains a vision.”
Construction could start as early as next summer on the 40K to 50K-square-foot building
Makin said he expects to start construction on the estimated 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot, multistory building sometime between summer 2017 and spring 2018.
Building a medical science facility is Phase 2 in the career technical school’s three-phase plan to expand the physical size of its campus and enhance its education programs.
Phase 1 was the construction of an about $10.5 million, 35,000-square-foot transportation training center that opened in fall 2013. It supports secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in programs such as diesel technology repair, heavy equipment operation and commercial driver’s license and passenger bus operations.
Phase 3, which Makin said “is a long way down the road,” includes plans to build a center for hospitality and tourism programs that would include student housing and a small working hotel.
The other component of the school’s growth is to award associate degrees, which it was approved for by the state in health care management, advanced manufacturing and diesel construction with an emphasis on Case Construction equipment.
The multiphase master plan started several years ago when administrators solicited feedback from a committee of stakeholders and industry partners who suggested the expansions, Makin said.
Our objective here is to make programs available so students can enroll and go on to earn family-sustaining incomes here in Centre County and central Pennsylvania. We’re absolutely convinced there is a market demand for individuals who would graduate from these programs
Richard Makin, CPI president
“Our objective here is to make programs available so students can enroll and go on to earn family-sustaining incomes here in Centre County and central Pennsylvania,” Makin said. “We’re absolutely convinced there is a market demand for individuals who would graduate from these programs.”
CPI administrators, with the help of Delta Development Group, of Mechanicsburg, conducted a feasibility study that looked at market assessments, labor statistics, trends and projections through 2020, within an 80-mile radius of the Spring Township school, Vice President of Postsecondary Education Todd Taylor said.
He said the study found a need in health and medical sciences.
From that, administrators determined the health sciences building would offer postsecondary education for programs such as occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant and registered nurses who plan to earn an associate degree.
CPI prides itself on the 3 As: “accessible, affordable and accredited”
With the postsecondary programs that could potentially be offered at the building comes a mission of making sure it’s affordable.
“What we intend to happen is to recruit our current students into this program,” Makin said. “We have students in medical sciences as secondary students that they could take their classes and graduate from CPI, and then (go) to the postsecondary CPI programs. They would get credits and advanced standing, which would lessen their tuition. Our intent is to make this accessible, affordable and accredited.”