June 17, 2008
LECOM at Seton Hill + New Performing Arts Center = RenaissanceYesterday, the press conference officially announcing the details of LECOM at Seton Hill was held at the University. How exciting this is! The nation's largest medical school has partnered with SHU! This means we will be seeing Seton Hill evolving in many exciting ways. I have lived in the Greensburg area all my life. I remember shopping "Downtown Greensburg" at Troutman's and Royer's with my Grandmother. Since those days,businesses would close one by one as the malls and other large developments would draw business away from town. It was only about 10 years ago that I walked through town and unless you were an attorney or working at the courthouse; downtown was pretty much a ghost town. Recently, under the vision of Barb Ciampini, Greensburg City Planning Director, Karl Eisaman, Mayor , Steve Gifford of GCDC (click to read Steve's vision for Greensburg) and other city officials and committees, there has been a major upswing. A little over a year ago, I looked around at the beginning transformation of the city and predicted that someday soon it would be a extraordinary cultural and arts center. Already home to DV8 Espress Bar and Gallery, Stage Right School and Theater Company, Westmoreland Museum of American Art , Pottery Playhouse, St. Clair Concerts in the Park, and so much more. In addition, the new $21 Million Seton Hill Performing Arts Center will be opening 2009 right in the heart of the Greensburg Cultural District. Due to the increased enrollment in Seton Hill's outstanding art program, Seton Hill will house the art department's painting studio in the Troutman's building. So...this all leads to a renaissance of Downtown Greensburg and Seton Hill University. Who knows...maybe someday, we will refer to "Upper Campus" and "Lower Campus" as we grow and are widely recognized for our exemplary medical programs with our Physician's Assistant Program and LECOM's Medical School, as well as our paramount performing and visual arts programs!
Posted by TraceyBartos at June 17, 2008 1:42 PM
It's really amazing to see all this growth in a short time. Of course, none of this would have happened without years of planning by the university and the cooperation of the community, but it's still exciting to watch it all come together.
Comment by: Dennis G. Jerz at June 18, 2008 11:34 PM
Gosh, as a resident of GBG, I hope that Upper and Lower Campus stuff never happens!
Comment by: Kaytlin at June 19, 2008 6:17 AM
Really? Why is that? I have been a resident of Gbg for 43 years and it sounds like revival time for me. Many years ago, Greensburg was a hopping place and those were fun days. We didn't have the mall, so if you wanted to shop, you would head downtown to Royer's, Troutman's , Murphy's and other stores. It always bothers me to see the vacant, deteriorating buildings. I think I am having bigger problems with the massive growth along Route 30 that our highway structure can not accommodate.
Comment by: TraceyBartos at July 11, 2008 3:10 PM
Kaytlin, Greensburg and Pennsylvania officials think the plan will bring customers downtown, not only for the theater and music performances, but for the restaurants and shops. They invested a good chunk of cash, figuring that they'll earn it all back in business generated by the development. There will be van service between upper and lower campus, so I don't think you'll see any increase in automobile traffic during the day, and there will definitely be more pedestrians downtown.
Like Tracey, I'd be interested in hearing more of your thoughts on the matter.
Comment by: Dennis G. Jerz at July 11, 2008 5:22 PM
You nailed it, Tracey. I drive on Route 30 everyday, and I always say it feels more and more like Monroeville as time passes.
How about the new shopping plaza they're building by Gander Mountain?
I even heard rumors of Westmoreland Mall closing to Wal-Mart. Meanwhile the construction on the Irwin Wal-Mart had to cease because they realized they needed to widen the highway before it could open.
I think the partnership between the university and the city will stay true to downtown's authenticity - the SHU community genuinely cares about the city's well being and vice verse. I've been a resident of the city my entire life and the thought of it becoming more of a 'campus city' makes me smile.
Even though I never shopped those old department stores, I've heard stories from my grandmother and my dad. I am glad those vacant buildings are being used in general, let alone the fact it's for academics.
Comment by: Stormy Knight at July 12, 2008 2:17 PM