College to Acquire HON INDUSTRIES Inc. Manufacturing Facility

Published 10.11.2001


Pennsylvania College of Technology and HON INDUSTRIES Inc. have announced their intent to complete a gift/purchase arrangement by which the College will acquire HON's vacant Williamsport manufacturing facility adjacent to the main campus and convert it for use by academic and workforce-training programs.

Under the proposed arrangement, the College will pay a portion of the approximately $3.6 million transaction, and HON INDUSTRIES Inc. will provide the remainder of the appraised value of the land, property and equipment as a gift to Penn College.

"We expect the vast majority of the amount to be gifted to the College," explained Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour.

The College plans to begin renovations immediately to prepare the facility for occupancy by several academic and/or training programs. Potential uses include Plastics and Polymer Technology and the Plastics Manufacturing Center, Civil Engineering Technology and Surveying Technology and (Automotive) Collision Repair Technology.

Also under consideration for relocation to the facility are the Paramedic Technology program, which currently rents space at Williamsport Hospital and Medical Center; the Technology Transfer Center, which rents space at the Williamsport Chamber of Commerce's Business and Technology Resource Center; and the Children's Learning Center at Penn College, which occupies space in the Alvin C. Bush Campus Center with the fast-growing Graphic Design and Advertising Art programs.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity," Dr. Gilmour said. "The building is in exceptional shape, and we are prepared to make the office spaces usable early in the Spring 2002 semester. The growth potential of the areas moving into the building would involve as many as 100 new students in those programs. The economic benefits generated for the region by those students would total approximately $1.6 million annually. This growth could also lead to the hiring of six new employees."

Dr. Gilmour said it does no good for the community to have the property remain empty, adding the vacant facility represents a potential hazard because of its proximity to the main campus.

"Our long-standing relationship with the College will allow us to complete this transaction, which benefits the college, the community of Williamsport and our company," said Jeff Fick, HON INDUSTRIES Inc. vice president, member and community relations. "We are pleased that the property will quickly be put to productive use. We want to thank Dr. Gilmour and the College's Board of Directors for their efforts to complete this transaction."

Funding for the purchase would come from the College's Unrestricted Fund Balance. Cost estimates for the conversion work are not yet available.

The 1201 W. Third St. property, which is situated on 6.56 acres, totals 102,690 square feet and includes a one-story manufacturing plant with an attached, one-story warehouse. There are 12 loading docks and 160 parking spaces available, and there is an unpaved area that could accommodate an additional 30 vehicles. There is a total of 1,784 square feet of office space in two different locations within the facility.