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Campus to branch out to Pa. mall

June 05, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Penn State Mont Alto, taking a major step toward its goal of becoming "part of this community," will open a satellite campus at the Chambersburg (Pa.) Mall this summer.

Construction of the 43,000-square-foot facility is under way. It is sandwiched between an Eckerd/Thrift Drug store and a General Nutrition Center store on the other, said David Goldenberg, CEO of the Mont Alto campus.

At least five full-time staffers and three or four part-timers will be hired to run the new facility. It will be called Penn State Mont Alto Chambersburg Educational Center.

A map of the layout shows a computerized kiosk in the front reception area. A room behind that will house a library and resource center focusing on health and wellness.

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The Healthy Communities Library/Reading Room will offer brochures, videos and the Internet, all free, through which visitors can learn about health education, Goldenberg said.

"Penn State Mont Alto is known for its growing reputation in academic majors associated with health fields. The opening of this facility is in keeping with our mission to educate our students and the general community on the importance of health and wellness," he said.

One of the center's three classrooms will house a technology unit with 20 computer stations linked to the Internet. Students of all skill levels can take credited and noncredit classes.

The other two classrooms will be for continuing education and traditional lecture classes.

Goldenberg said he signed a 10-year lease with Crown American Corp. for the space. He said construction and equipment costs will run about $500,000.

Researchers will poll mall visitors in June and July to determine what classes should be offered.

Goldenberg said 600 people are signed up for the mall-walkers program and at least 100 walk the corridors each day.

He said average visitors spend about two hours in the mall. Now they can spend about an hour taking classes, he said.

"Most colleges are isolated in their communities. I really want Penn State Mont Alto to be a vital part of this community," he said.

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