State approves more funding for new police facility at SRU
This rendering, created by the Weber Murphy Fox architectural firm, depicts a new University Police and U.S. Army ROTC facility at Slippery Rock University.
Dec. 5, 2022
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Thanks to new state funding, Slippery Rock University's Police Department will receive a new headquarters building. Pennsylvania's Office of the Budget awarded a $850,000 RACP grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program that will be used to develop a new facility that will house SRU's University Police Department.
The joint recipients of the RACP grant are Slippery Rock Township and the SRU Foundation, Inc. This RACP grant is one of hundreds awarded to local governments and development authorities and agencies across the state each year. This new grant will be added to the previous $750,000 RACP grant they received last year. Both amounts are being matched by the SRU Foundation. These grants will help fund the first phase of a larger project that will house SRU's U.S. Army ROTC program in the same 26,560-square-foot facility as the University Police.
The phase of the project funded by the RACP grant is estimated at $3.5 million and will be used to provide a new parking lot, site utilities and the University Police station. The total cost of the entire site project is $9.5 million and will ultimately include the ROTC offices and meeting rooms, a lecture hall and gymnasium.
"This grant will improve the University Police Department's ability to serve the community and collaborate with other first responders and our ROTC program," said Scott Albert, associate vice president facilities, environmental safety and sustainability. "Our police will have better access points to upper and lower campus, as well as the upgraded facilities they deserve."
The University Police's existing facility is too small and antiquated for the level of the department's operations. The station is along Keister Road, a busy thoroughfare near the lower campus entrance that affects emergency access during times of peak traffic.
The development of this land on the north side of campus also provides an additional access point to the Smith Student Center. When the SSC was built in 2012, there was a pedestrian bridge installed, providing access to the third floor from the north side of the building. This was not to provide a path to a wooded hillside, but in anticipation of further campus development. The bridge will connect the SSC to the extension of Maltby Avenue that will also connect with Innovation Drive.
Work on the project is expected to begin in summer 2023.
The grant will also allow SRU to expand the space allocated to its Army ROTC program. The ROTC program currently uses multiple facilities across campus, including the Lowry Center, a converted home along Maltby Avenue that houses the Department of Military Science offices. The Lowry Center was a private residence until 1961 and has since been used for various campus offices and will continue to house campus offices after Military Science relocates.
SRU has been training future U.S. Army officers since its first class of cadets was commissioned in 1984. Since then, SRU's ROTC program has been recognized as the top unit of its size in the nation four times, including as recently as 2019, and the program has steadily grown in recent years, as there are now more than 50 cadets enrolled each year.
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