Mansfield University may be nestled in a tiny town in northern Pennsylvania, but they are moving ground on Phase II of a very big housing project. USDA Rural Development’s Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Judith Canalas and Pennsylvania Rural Development State Director Thomas Williams joined Mansfield University President Dr. Allan Golden and the Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation recently to break ground for Phase II of new suite style housing at the university that will offer students more space, create jobs in the community and help strengthen the economic vitality of the area.
Events are taking place nationwide as part of USDA’s “Back to School Week,” recognizing many of the $824 million education projects funded by Rural Development since 2009. USDA Rural Development provided a Community Facilities direct loan and a guaranteed loan through First Commonwealth Bank toward Phase II of the project, which is overseen by Mansfield Auxiliary Corporation in partnership with the university.
The contemporary, suite-style housing is designed to incorporate a living-learning environment and to promote student academic success. Some of the amenities include study lounges with panoramic views, high speed wireless internet, cable, individually controlled heating and air conditioning and laundry facilities one each floor. The new 634-bed residence halls, expected to be complete in the autumn of 2013, will sit on the beautiful mountainside overlooking the town, valley and distant countryside. Originally slated to open in the fall of 2014, the USDA Rural Development loans provided a boost to the project, allowing for an earlier completion date.