By Patrick O'Shea, BEAVER COUNTY TIMES STAFF
Published: Thursday, September 3, 2009
Reprinted with permission by the Beaver County Times
BEAVER FALLS - Anyone who has not been to the Geneva College campus in a few years might be in for a surprise.
The community has been invited to come and see the new look of the Beaver Falls campus on Saturday as part of an event the college has dubbed "Experience Geneva." Student government leaders will start welcoming visitors at 6 p.m. at the pedestrian plaza near the new main entrance at Route 18 and 31st Street for informal tours.
As part of the celebration, the college will offer free admission to the Golden Tornadoes′ football game against Frostburg (Md.) State University at 7 p.m. College officials hope to fill the 6,000 seats in the renovated Reeves Field.
College spokeswoman Cheryl Johnston said Wednesday that work is nearly complete on the three-year $8.6 million renovation of the campus and the realignment of Route 18 around the campus, creating pedestrian walkways where there once was a highway.
"People who have not been on campus for a few years will be pleasantly surprised," she said. "We want people to literally experience what Geneva is now like. ... It is much more inviting."
Besides the pedestrian plaza and walkways, work included landscaping, improving handicapped accessibility to parking and Alexander Hall, shifting utilities from poles to underground, and constructing a new main entrance. The college also made improvements to the Reeves Field complex, including installing a new scoreboard, press box, metal bleachers and turf.
Johnston said Geneva will have an official dedication ceremony in October during Homecoming for the end of the "Beyond the Bend" construction project, but she said the college didn′t want to wait to show off the campus.
Johnston said there has been a lot of inconvenience during the project for campus neighbors and the area.
"This is our time to step back and say, âThank you for your patience in the last three years,′ " she said.
Listen to Van Zanic talk about Experience Geneva night from his interview with WBVP.