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The Lycoming Economic Development Foundation (LEDF) has announced a $764,272 grant in support of the redevelopment and revitalization of Williamsport's East End and Old City neighborhoods. The grant, issued to the City of Williamsport, will support the infrastructure work to Basin and Franklin Streets, as well as enhancement to the streetscape along East Third Street, and will provide the matching funds necessary for the City to qualify for additional state grants.
The first phase of East End revitalization will be Lycoming Gateway Project, which includes both a new $12.5 million Gateway Building and site work. That project will be complemented by a $1.6 million reconstruction of Basin and Franklin Streets by the City funded through public and private grant support, including the LEDF award. An additional $5.5 million in public infrastructure projects will provide the foundation to attract millions in private investment to the area.
Expected to serve as the new arrival sequence to campus and the hub of student activity, the 28,000-square-foot Gateway Building will house College admissions and alumni relations, the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences, and the Outdoor Leadership and Education program, as well as presentation and seminar rooms and a three-story climbing wall which will be available to the public.
"Lycoming College is grateful for its partnership with the Lycoming Economic Development Foundation. The Foundation joins a growing coalition between the College and other local and community organizations who share the vision of the Gateway Project," said Kent Trachte, Ph.D., president of Lycoming College. "I am excited for the revitalization of the area near campus which will forge deeper connections between the College and the City."
In addition to the support provided by the LEDF, the College and the City have secured funding for improvement to public infrastructure from Lycoming County, First Community Foundation Partnership (FCFP), and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, PennDOT will make substantial investments to improve East Third St.
Bill Nichols Jr., city finance director, added "The local funding from the LEDF, the FCFP, and the County position the City to leverage those dollars and compete successfully for grants from state government, including from PennDOT's Multimodal Transportation Fund and CFA funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development."
"The Lycoming Economic Development Foundation is pleased to partner with the City of Williamsport and Lycoming College to support the infrastructure of this revitalization project, which in turn will lay the groundwork for new private, small business development in the East End of the City. The Foundation looks forward to receiving future loan applications that we believe will be stimulated by this grant support to improvements to public infrastructure," said Joseph Rider, Esq., chair of the board for LEDF.
Organized in 1955, the LEDF is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting the economic, business, and industrial welfare and employment of Lycoming County. Its board is composed of local community leaders. More information about the LEDF is available at www.lycomingedf.com.
Lycoming College is set to break ground on the Gateway Building on July 9, and work on Franklin and Basin Streets will follow in the spring of 2019.