Shippensburg University was awarded a state grant totaling $590,626 on Sept. 15 that will allow the university to complete a half-mile segment of a connector road between the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, the SU Foundation Building and the Courtyard by Marriot that is currently undergoing construction.
The grant, which will fund 55 percent of the project’s remaining $1,071,000 cost, will consist of two 13-foot-wide lanes, a 6-foot-wide bike and pedestrian lane and improvements that would include a lighting and drainage system.
Even though the connector road will help connect the new Courtyard by Marriot to the university, officials have had a plan to complete the road for some time. In all actuality, those who were involved in getting the state grant approved have been trying to do so for more than 10 years.
Officials who were present and who spoke at the Sept. 15 ceremony included university interim President Jody Harpster; Rep. Mark Keller; John Clinton, President and CEO of the SU Foundation and president of Raider Capital Ventures; and Jeremy Shoemaker, Sen. Rich Alloway’s director of communications.
Harpster and company elaborated on the many beneficial aspects the connector road will hold for the university, due to its expansion, as well as the downtown area of Shippensburg. They also touched base on the economic impact it will have for both the university and the local community.
When all plans are finalized, construction is set to begin in late fall 2014 or spring 2015, with the hopes that the road will be accessible by fall 2015 or spring 2016.