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Letter from the Editor: State College’s changing landscape

by on September 29, 2017 10:57 AM

The building boom in State College and at Penn State over the past couple of decades has been dramatic. Perhaps it seems even more spectacular to the periodic visitor, not here to see the incremental change on a daily basis.

Until moving here last year, I was one of those visitors. The transformation of town and gown from the time I was a Penn State student in the early 1980s, to when our daughter was a student in the 1990s, to what we saw on regular visits over the past decade is hard to overstate.

Each year, shiny new buildings popped up around town and on campus.

That growth is a healthy sign, but it brings challenges. As the State College Borough ran out of room to grow out, more and more it started to grow up. That has been especially evident over the past year or so with the opening of two new 12-story mixed-use buildings: the Fraser Center last year at Fraser Street and Beaver Avenue, and the Metropolitan at Atherton Street and College Avenue in September.

Another 12-story complex, The Rise, is going up at 532 East College Avenue. And The Residences at College and Atherton, still another 12-story building, is proposed across the street from the Metropolitan.

With the exception of the Fraser Center, the new high-rises are geared to fill an ongoing need for off-campus student housing. In the process, the buildings help keep tax dollars in the borough rather than letting them escape to neighboring townships.

The challenge for the borough is cultivating that growth while maintaining the college-town charm for which State College is beloved by so many.

Staff writer Sean Yoder explores that challenge this month with borough officials and downtown business owners who are at the heart of it.

Also in this issue, we celebrate the contributions of Joel N. Myers, a three-time Penn State grad and the founder, president, and chairman of AccuWeather. Myers took an idea he had as a grad student in 1962 and turned it into a thriving global company, based in State College all the while.

Myers is the 2017 Renaissance Fund honoree. For 41 years, the Renaissance Fund has honored someone who, through a lifetime of service, has contributed greatly to the Penn State and State College communities. The fund is already accepting contributions to the Dr. Joel N. Myers Renaissance Scholarship, which helps students in need.

Read more about Myers’ remarkable career — and his many contributions to the community — here!


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