WILKES-BARRE -- A university in Luzerne County has announced a $3.5 million project to beautify its campus. The project will also alleviate traffic issues in part of Wilkes-Barre.
It's become almost a Homecoming Week tradition at Wilkes University -- to hear about a major renovation to the school's campus.
"My goal is, as long as I am here at Wilkes, every Homecoming, we will have something special to announce. So far we have about three or four years running," said Wilkes University President Patrick Leahy.
This year, state and local leaders, along with Wilkes University officials gathered to announce a $3.5 million South Campus Gateway Initiative.
"Wilkes' proactive approach to our community involvement and improvement will inspire neighboring businesses to put move investments into the city," said Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George. "I've always said the way Wilkes and King's goes is the way the city goes."
Wilkes University will be matching multiple Pennsylvania Department of Transportation grants to build a gateway from the main campus to its south campus.
Since that path goes through parts of the city, several streets along the way will see some streetscape improvements like resurfaced sidewalks and new lighting, to beautify the campus and make the walk through downtown for all pedestrians safer.
"It will benefit, not only our students who are trafficing to campus back and forth all day, but also the citizens of the neighborhood who are very welcomed on our campus at all times," said Leahy.
"I was speaking to my student government board last night and they were, 'wow, we are getting another gateway, that's amazing!' said senior Allie Grudeski."I cannot wait to see how it improves our university."
Work on the $3.5 million South Campus Gateway project should begin by May of next year and be complete by fall of 2018.