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 SRU Receives Federal Support For Regional Learning Alliance Project In Allegheny County 

 

SPOTLIGHT

March 7, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854;  e-mail: gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY RECEIVES FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR REGIONAL LEARNING ALLIANCE PROJECT IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY’S MARSHALL TOWNSHIP

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University received $200,000 in federal support Friday for its Regional Learning Alliance "educational mall" project in Marshall Township, Allegheny County. The shared education/training campus and conference center will become the only one its kind between Erie and Pittsburgh.

           U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter each earmarked $100,000 for construction, expected to begin this year. Hart joined university officials at Slippery Rock's off-campus North Hills Center in Franklin Park to announce the funding allocation. U.S. Rep. Phil English was also instrumental in securing funding.

           The Regional Learning Alliance promises to meet the training and education needs of individuals, businesses and industries within a two-hour radius. Slippery Rock will serve as facility manager. Regional universities will lease classroom space to provide an array of services, including job training and workforce development in one of the fastest growing markets in Pennsylvania -- the Cranberry/Route 19 corridor.

           The Regional Learning Alliance will occupy 20 acres in the Cranberry Woods Office Park off Route 228. The design calls for high-tech classrooms, specialty-manufacturing training centers, conference space, a virtual library, childcare center and food service operations.

           “The new facility in Cranberry Woods will improve access to new job opportunities for area residents and will improve access to highly trained employees for the region’s businesses,” Dr. Robert Smith, president of Slippery Rock University, said. “This money will enable us to continue our progress in the design phase of this innovative concept for bringing many educational providers together in one place.”

           The center will operate on an extended schedule -- days, evenings and weekends. Training will fluctuate depending on need. Classroom space may serve as a laboratory for a tool and die company for six weeks and an instructional center for software engineers for the succeeding six months.

           “By sharing classrooms, computer labs and other resources, our local training institutions can put more money back into classrooms and job training,” Hart said.

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