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Cal U's $54M indoor venue to be largest between Pittsburgh and Morgantown

California University of Pennsylvania is breaking ground the first week of August on a $54 million Convocation Center that will be the largest indoor venue between Pittsburgh and Morgantown, W. Va.

The 142,000-square-foot building on the university's main campus will include a 6,000-seat arena, as well as 10 state-of-the-art classrooms and conference-hosting facilities. The center will host volleyball and basketball games, as well as commencement ceremonies and other campus assembles. Additionally, Cal U anticipates using the facility for athletic tournaments, statewide science contests, job fairs, trade shows and concerts.

"I look forward to seeing this landmark building take shape on our campus," says Cal U President Angelo Armenti, Jr. "Our enrollment has been climbing steadily for more than a decade, and we have simply outgrown our current facilities."

Current Cal U enrollment is more than 8,500, and commencements and sporting events are held in Hamar Hall Auditorium, which seats around 3,000--half that of the new Convocation Center, according to Christine Kindl with the university.

L. Robert Kimball & Associates served as architects on the project, which is expected to be complete in 2011. The center's construction will infuse an estimated $43 million into the local economy.

About $23 million of the total project cost will be financed through a bond issue, with $19.1 million expected from the state, and the remainder from University sources and private fundraising.

In addition to the Convocation Center, Cal U will break ground in August for a multi-level parking facility on its main campus. The garage will create 650 new spaces by fall 2010.

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Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Angelo Armenti, Jr., president, and Christine Kindl, director of communication and public relations, California University of Pennsylvania

Image courtesy California University of Pennsylvania
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