U of S Announces New Building Project

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SCRANTON -- The University of Scranton announced Thursday that it plans to build a multimillion dollar rehabilitation center on campus.

The center will be part of the university's occupational therapy and exercise science programs.

The university released an animated view of what the new $47.5 million, state of the art facility will look like.

The University of Scranton landscape seems to be ever-changing.  The latest project brings the university's construction work very close to downtown.

The building known as Leahy Hall on Jefferson Avenue and Linden Street will be replaced.

The building is set to be torn down this summer and then construction will begin on a $47.5 million project to build a rehab center and classrooms for the school's occupational and physical therapy programs.

"As you know, with the job market, focusing on the best jobs in the future, it's occupational therapy and physical therapy and this will be a dream come true for students," said Debra Pellegrino, Dean of the College of Professional Studies.

Pellegrino says the new facility will be better-equipped for students and their patients. The inside of it hasn't changed much since the early 1900s when it was the YWCA, Young Women's Christian Association.

Students say their work spaces are cramped, and aren't accessible to patients.

"I'm surprised that it's not more accessible since we are OT students. I thought it would be more accessible for people in wheelchairs and things like that. I think the new building will be better for that," said sophomore Nicole Fiore.

The new rehab center is right on the edge of the university's campus, only a block away from the heart of downtown. That's another bonus according to the students.

"It's a little tiring in the morning to walk down here, but I definitely think it's better to be closer to the city of Scranton, you get to know the city better instead of just campus," said sophomore Angelica Cifelli.

Students who currently take classes in Leahy Hall will go elsewhere on campus for the next school year.   The building is set to be demolished this summer and the new rehab center is scheduled to be finished by the summer of 2015.