By: Gabby Vielhauer, Managing Editor
The Bloomsburg University Foundation, Inc. recently announced the construction of a new property called the Greenly Center, which will be located on Main Street in downtown Bloomsburg. It will house the offices of the BU Foundation.
With the donation of $1 million by alumni Duane ’72 and Susan Basar Greenly ’72, construction of this project was made possible and will begin in August 2013, pending on necessary approval. Completion is set at approximately July of 2014.
“Sue and I had the desire to help the foundation and move the university ahead,” said Greenly, who serves on the BU Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The site downtown is just great and we see the extra benefit of this building as a revitalization seed.”
“Board members often give their time, talent, and treasure back to Bloomsburg,” stated executive director of the BU Foundation Jerome Dvorak. “We [the Foundation] try to match up specific individual desires of the donors with the needs of the community. Having been a local resident, attending Bloomsburg High School and then Bloomsburg University, it is easy to understand why Greenly would donate to this particular project.”
The estimated cost of construction is $6.5 million. The new building, which will replace the form Cole’s Hardware, will be a four-story office building and underground parking facility. In addition to the donation by the Greenly’s, leasing out office space will help offset the initial cost of the center. Additionally, naming particular facilities within the Greenly Center after donors will assist in financing the project.
“Negotiations are currently underway with individuals interested in leasing the property after construction is complete, ” says Dvorak. “We are currently talking with people everywhere from Pittsburg to the surrounding area about leasing, but it will be awhile until those leases are finalized.”
It is estimated that the Greenly Center will bring an additional 4,000 to 5,000 visitors into downtown Bloomsburg annually by attracting new businesses and revenue into town
Students will also benefit by the Greenly Center by providing work opportunities, according to Dvorak. It is estimated that there will be 25-35 job openings for students to work side-by-side with the other staff members at the Foundation.
“We hope that the center will be a catalyst for economic growth as well as help foster better relationships between the university and the community,” said Dvorak.