College officials happy with Gateway project moving forward

Construction has begun on the "new gateway" building to Lycoming College in the East End of the city, and is expected to be complete within one year. KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette

A year from now, Lycoming College and the city of Williamsport can expect to put the final touches on a project expected to better connect the school with the community.

Most recently, it was announced that 80 percent of the funding for the $25 million East Third Street/Old City Gateway Revitalization project has been secured.

College officials are excited about the project expected to boost economic development to the neighborhood.

“The project is very important to the college,” said Jeff Bennett, vice president for finance and administration. “It will be the new gateway to the school.”

It can be expected, he said, to revitalize the East End of the city, while at the same time connect the school to Williamsport.

The college’s $12 million contribution to the project represents its investment to the project.

Another $2.5 million has come from various donors and grant sources.

Marla Kramer, Lycoming College senior director of marketing and communications, said the project includes Krapf Gateway Center to house the school’s Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences, Outdoor Leadership and Education, seminar and study rooms, a lounge and other support and educational services.

“When people arrive at Lycoming, this is the first building they will see,” she said.

She noted that the relationship between the city and college will only be enhanced with the completion of the project set for September 2019.

Added Bennett: “One of the objectives was to make a pass-through to the community.”

He said the project remains on schedule.

The project has been supported by a number of governmental bodies, organizations and individuals, including: River Valley Transit, First Community Foundation Partnership, Lycoming County, East Third Street Commission, the state Department of Transportation, and local elected officials.

The reinvestment in the neighborhood will include infrastructure work along Basin and Franklin streets, a streetscape project for East Third Street and other improvements.