HU breaks ground on future


HU and local officials held a ground-breaking ceremony for HU’s Health Science Education Center Friday, July 26, 2019

It’s a momentous day for Harrisburg University!

University officials, staff, and local leaders gathered at South Third and Chestnut streets in downtown Harrisburg to celebrate the groundbreaking for the university’s 17-story, $130 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 during the fall of 2021, will comprise 386,208 square feet. It will include 275,000 square feet of education space and a 197-room hotel, conference center, and restaurant to fill the remaining portion of the facility.

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

Harrisburg-based Hersha Hospitality Management will spend $30-35 million to build the hotel. And Harrisburg University will spend $100 million for its portion of the project. The hotel and HU will share 10 floors separated by an atrium. The remaining seven floors will solely be used by the university.

Architectural rendering of HU’s Health Science Education Center

The building will accommodate at least 1,000 new students and a health science center that 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. Glenn Mitchell, professor of Healthcare Informatics and Chair of the Faculty of the Whole.

“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.”

To view more pictures from the ceremony, visit HU’s Facebook Page.

For more information about the HU Health Science Education Center, click Here.

Below are links to news coverage of today’s groundbreaking ceremony:

PennLive/The Patriot-News: Harrisburg University’s ‘success story’ gives boost to city’s downtown, business leaders say

The Burg News: Ready, Set, Build: Harrisburg University marks start of tower project with groundbreaking 

CBS21 News: Harrisburg University breaking ground on a new project 

Fox 43: Harrisburg University breaking ground on a 17 story building downtown 

About Harrisburg University 

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields to a diverse student body. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,

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