The University unveiled details Thursday for a new building that will house the Panuska College of Professional Studies.
The116,000-square-foot building will be located on the corner of Linden and Jefferson Streets and will replace the 74,000-square-foot Leahy Hall. The University’s departments of physical therapy, occupational therapy and exercise science will make the building their new home. The eight-story building will include 56 faculty offices, 25 laboratories, 10 group study and conference rooms, six active learning classrooms, three traditional classrooms, a green roof, a food service seating area and a forum that can seat 260 people.
Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of Panuska College of Professional Studies, said a new building was needed after determining the current facilities were subpar. She said The University hired an outside consultant to conduct a Leahy Hall feasibility study and the results suggested that the school needed to build a new structure. The decision was then made to demolish Leahy Hall and the process to select an architecture firm began.
The University selected two architecture firms, Hemmlar + Camayd and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, to design the building. The school also hired Higher Education Research Associates (HERA), which specializes in state-of-the-art curriculum development for the applied sciences. Pellegrino said The University broke the mold when they designed the building.
“We really have three groups that are working together with faculty, staff and students to really make this building unique,” Pellegrino said.
The new building will cost $47.5 million and is projected to be completed by fall 2015. The center will feature three pediatric laboratories, which will focus on the physical, emotional and mental development of children. Pellegrino said the new building will be an impressive sight for visitors to the city and campuses.
“I think once you get off of the expressway and you see The University of Scranton, you’ll realize there’s a lot happening on this side of the campus also,” Pellegrino said. “I think it’s going to tie the whole University campus together because you’ll see some of the same river stone on the science building and you’ll see the connection and the respect for the other buildings in the area.”
Sophomore exercise science student Shannon McSherry said she is excited for the new building and that it is much needed for the department.
“For exercise science we are sometimes secluded, but the new building will allow us to work in the labs and use materials in a better environment,” McSherry said.
The facility will include an assisted daily living simulated neighborhood with an apartment, garage, grocery store and street and simulated hospital patient rooms for acute and long-term care. Plans also include for the new facility to attach to McGurrin Hall, which houses the remaining programs in the Panuska College.
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