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Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center “Topped Off” at ESU

A “Topping – Off” ceremony for the new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a development of the ESU Center for Research and Economic Development (CFRED) was held on May 15, 2009. CFRED is constructing the 51,000 square-foot Center as the first phase of the ESUResearch and Business park on 11 acres of property owned by the university at the corner of Route 447 and Brown Street in Smithfield Township.

Chuck Leonard, PMEDC Executive Director, signs the beam at the Topping Off Ceremony on May 15, 2009.

Chuck Leonard, PMEDC Executive Director, signs the beam at the Topping Off Ceremony on May 15, 2009.

The building will include: The ESU Business Accelerator Program; Anchor tenants; R&D facilities; The ESU Cyber Crime and Forensic Institute; and, the ESU Division of Research and Economic Development. The $11.5 million construction projectr is supported by $2.5 million in funding from a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) Grant funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in addition to federal assistance from the EDA ($1.2 million), the Appalachian Regional Commission ($75,000), the PA Department of Community and Economic Development ($1 million) and $770,000 in other grant funds for infrastructure and program activities which support entrepreneurship and startup companies.

Participating companies will provide ESU students with challenging career opportunities. It is anticipated that ESU faculty, staff and students will participate in educational programming , training initiatives, R&D, and commercialization and technology transfer activities offered through the new center.

The economic impact of the center, Phase I the Park, is expected to create 595 jobs and generate over $57 million for Monroe County.

In building construction, topping out, or topping off, is a ceremony held when the last beam is placed at the top of a building. The term may also refer to the overall completion of the building’s structure. A topping out ceremony is usually held to commemorate the event.

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