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University officials, staff, and local leaders gathered at South Third and Chestnut streets in downtown Harrisburg to celebrate the groundbreaking for the university’s $100 million Health Science Center the morning of July 26, 2019.

Following an introduction by local real estate developer Ralph Vartan, Dr. Eric Darr, President of HU, spoke of the importance of the building project to the university and the region.

“This project represents a major step forward for the university,” Darr said. “Not just because of the facility itself, but because it represents a major movement in health care and health sciences for the university.”

The building, slated to open in 2021, will comprise 260,000 square feet.

HU President Dr. Eric Darr addresses the crowd gathered for the groundbreaking of the university’s Health Science Education Center.

The building, which will accommodate at least 1,000 additional students, will serve degree programs in nursing, pharmaceutical sciences, and other allied health programs. The center also will house the university’s Advanced Manufacturing and Interactive Media programs.

Dr. Glenn Mitchell, professor of Healthcare Informatics and Chair of HU’s Faculty of the Whole, weighed in on the importance of the center to the delivery of healthcare throughout southcentral Pennsylvania and beyond. He also thanked the local community for its support of the university.

“(The building project) will mean a lot to Pennsylvania as we improve the availability of healthcare education for a whole range of providers in healthcare,” said Dr. Mitchell.

“On behalf of the faculty as its president, I want to acknowledge, thank and express our gratitude for the vision, for the energy and for the courage of our Board of Trustees and President Darr. We joined this institution because we believe in the vision and we believe in the mission,” Mitchell continued. “We are extremely grateful to our elected representatives, the businesses of Harrisburg and the people of Harrisburg for supporting us. And in return, I would like to offer our pledge that we will continue to turn out graduates who will make Harrisburg proud.”