Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

HU sets July ground-breaking for new academic tower, hotel

Harrisburg University expects to break ground on its new academic tower and hotel in midsummer, the university confirmed today.

Spokesman Steven Infanti projected a late July start date for the 17-story, $135 million project at the corner of Chestnut and S. 3rd streets.

Infanti said that university expects a two-year construction period, with a grand opening slated for summer 2021, in time for the 2021-22 academic year.

Two weeks ago, the Harrisburg Planning Commission unanimously approved the project (rendering above), which had been scaled down from 19 to 17 floors, about half the height of the original plan. The land use plan still must be approved by City Council.

Infanti expects the building to house at least 1,000 new students and a health science education center for nursing, pharmaceutical sciences and other health-related programs. It also will have classrooms and training space for advanced manufacturing and interactive media programs, he said.

The 386,200-square-foot building consists of two other portions: a hotel and a restaurant. Owners and operators for these have not yet been announced.

Four parcels make up the building site: 222 Chestnut St. and 24, 26 and 28 S. 3rd St. Currently, 222 Chestnut St., the largest parcel, is a surface parking lot, while the 3rd Street parcels all house 19th-century commercial buildings, which would be demolished during the site-clearing process.

Alex Wing of Stantec is the lead architect for the project, supported by Harrisburg-based Reynolds Enterprises Inc. and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., based in Baltimore.

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