WILKES-BARRE -- Wilkes University is building a new connection into downtown Wilkes-Barre and Thursday, the campus broke ground for what it calls its "Gateway" project. Officials with the university say the project bridges the university with the downtown.
The gateway will eventually look like a prominent entrance into the school from the city's downtown, and it includes everything from crosswalks to streetlights and even a sitting area.
The renderings show a dramatic difference to how the area looks today. Students have to walk through it to get to class and say it could use an upgrade.
“I think it's really exciting, especially for the students of Wilkes University. It’s going to make the campus so much safer and so much more secure,” said Taylor Moyer.
The $1 million plan includes some funding from the state.
“It's a great investment in terms of improving the aesthetics of Wilkes University, improving the safety and access to Wilkes University,” said State Senator John Yudichak, (D) 14th district.
PennDOT will kick in $600,000 to help pay for the project, and the university will pay for the rest.
Preliminary work on the project started this month, when part of a building was razed to make room for the walkway. Major work will begin next month, after finals are finished.
"It's going to enhance it, the beauty of the campus,” said Moyer. “We're already all proud students to go to Wilkes University, and I think this is going to make us more proud.”
The project is expected to be finished in August.