Ground was broken for a new full-service community college campus in Monroe County on October 18, 2011. “I’ve never seen so many happy smiles,” said Northampton Community College President Arthur Scott, looking over at an exuberant tent-full of supporters, faculty and staff.
Located on 72 scenic acres in Pocono Township, the campus will include science and computer labs, meeting rooms, a library, child care center, food court and athletic fields. It will accommodate 5,000 students as well as provide space for cultural events, community meetings, and Horizons for Youth programs for youngsters in grades K-12. The old campus on Old Mill Road, Tannersville, will be used for corporate training and adult continuing education programs. The campus will open to students in the fall of 2014.
Northampton Community College has been providing courses in Monroe County since 1988. More than 45,000 county residents have taken classes at the College over the years. Last fall more than 17% of Monroe County high school graduates chose to start their college educations at NCC.
In addition, NCC’s Center for Business and Industry is a source of workforce for businesses such as sanofi Pasteur and others.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, special tribute was paid to Monroe philanthropists Pat and Kevin Hughes, sanofi Pasteur; and the Weiler Family Foundation for providing leadership gifts for a capital campaign that will provide the final funds needed to complete and equip the new campus. The campaign’s leadership team has already raised more than $3.6 million of the $5 million goal.
Other individuals who were acknowledged for helping to make the new campus possible were: State Senators Lisa Boscola and Pat Browne; former State Senators Charles Lemond, Ray Musto and the late Jim Rhodes; Representatives Mario Scavello, Mike Piefer, and Mike Carroll; former Congressman Paul Kanjorski; the Honorables Robert Mellow and John Siptroth; Chuck Leonard; Joe Uliana; Paul Canevari; Past County Commissioner Donna Asure; County Commissioners Suzanne McCool, Janet Weidensaul; and Teresa Merli; Damian Braga and Len Lavenda of sanofi Pasteur; NCC Foundation Board members Steve Sheptak and Charles Hannig; NCC Vice President for Administrative Affairs Helene Whitaker; Dean of the NCC Monroe Campus Matthew Connell, and members of NCC’s Board of Trustees.
Dr. Scott read commendations that Senator Robert Casey, Jr., delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate and that now are part of the Congressional Record: “This undertaking will expand and improve educational opportunities for countless students for generations to come,” a portion of the statement proclaimed.
According to a study done by Steven N. Zaricki of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, construction is expected to provide a significant economic boost for the region during tough economic times, generating up to $96.6 million in economic activity and $8.8 million in tax revenue for Monroe County and the surrounding area over the next three years.
In terms of jobs, Zaricki estimates that the project will support approximately 310 jobs in 2012 and 281 jobs in 2013, with the number of jobs related to the new campus growing to as many as 654 by 2019.