HACC Receives $600 thousand donation in support of York Center

The new permanent center of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, just opened for classes this week, but the college is already looking ahead to further expansion thanks to a gift from former Governor George M. Leader.

Governor Leader has agreed to give the college $600 thousand to support the development of the York Center - a center which is expected to quickly become the college's fifth campus. In honor of his gift, the college has christened the building as the "Governor George M. Leader Building" at the HACC York Center.

"We have already seen a tremendous response to our York initiative," said Dr. Edna V. Baehre, HACC president. "We are opening this fall with more than eight hundred students and we expect the York Center to top a thousand students within a year.

"Governor Leader's gift is a very visible sign of support from the community and will enable us to continue to look forward to the growth of the York Center," she said. "We hope that other community leaders will follow his example since we will need even more community support if we're going to meet the needs of the York region."

HACC - also known as Harrisburg Area Community College - began offering evening classes in the York area a little more than a year ago. The classes, held at two area high schools, proved very popular and the student body in York quickly topped five hundred.

"Almost all of the students we have been serving were not able to access existing opportunities for higher education," Baehre said. "They faced either financial or academic obstacles - obstacles which we're well equipped to handle."

As a result, she said, the number of degree-seeking students in the York area has increased dramatically and should continue to grow in the years to come.

The new HACC - York Center is located at 2010 Pennsylvania Avenue, just a quarter mile off of Route 30. It is located in a portion of a renovated industrial building and will offer day and evening as well as Saturday classes. The 40 thousand square foot center will also have ten general purpose classrooms, specialized labs for allied health and sciences, a library/learning center and a bookstore on site.

The college is offering more than 20 majors at the York Center including allied health, business administration, criminal justice, education and social and human services. Credits are transferable to nearly any college in the country including any of the schools in the state system of higher education.

The college plans to continue its successful programs in area high schools and is already looking forward to growing the new location.

"The initial construction will handle up to a thousand students," Baehre said. "The building could accommodate as many as three thousand when fully developed."