Letters to the Editor

Do the math on Penn State projects

Penn State’s board of trustees recently approved — over objections from Gov. Tom Wolf’s representatives — a $50.6 million dormitory project at PSU Abington.

The costs? Just more than $503,000 per two-bedroom dormitory. And this does NOT include the $10 million already spent on the project. Nor the cost of the real estate to build on.

Existing private developments in the same area — including the cost of the real estate — are valued at half that amount.

Where is the money going? Why do Penn State-funded projects cost twice as much as privately owned projects in the same area?

The champion of these projects is board of trustees capital planning committee Chairman Mark Dambly. When John Hangar (Wolf’s representative on the board) questioned the spending, Dambly took offense — and claimed any delay in approving the projects would cause “irreparable harm.”

The board leadership agreed to delay approval, but only for one month, and the projects were approved — again, over the objections of Wolf’s representatives and eight of the elected trustees — in a special meeting held in December.

With a 36-member board, is there no one who can do basic math — and ask, “Where is all of that extra money going?”

Or, is that a question to which they already know the answer — and just don’t want us to be aware of?

Is anyone watching the store?

Barry Fenchak, State College