Lackawanna College Joins Silk Mill in Hawley; Plans Include Green Tech Incubator On Site

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In photo are, from left, Senator Robert Mellow; Justin Genzlinger, Hawley Silk Mill LLC; Senator Lisa Baker; and Lackawanna College President Raymond Angeli.

Lackawanna College has received funding from both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States government for the creation of the new Lake Region Center located at the Hawley Silk Mill.

The Honorable State Senator Robert J. Mellow (D) and the Honorable State Senator Lisa Baker (R) announced funding in the amount $1.5 million dollars that will go towards the Lake Region Center.  These funds come from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

The office of United States Senator Arlen Specter (D) has also secured an additional $100,000 that was earmarked for this project from last year’s appropriations.

“We are very excited to see the bi-partisan support from Harrisburg to make this project happen,” said Lackawanna College President Raymond Angeli. “This allows the College to provide more educational opportunities to an even greater population in the Lake Region and surrounding counties.”

The College will be occupying all 16,000 square feet of the third floor at the soon-to-be-renovated Hawley Silk Mill and the $1.6 million dollars will be used to build out the third floor and provide instructional equipment. The College will be adding some new degree programs that encompass the region’s workforce needs including Hospitality/Tourism, Environmental Science and Physical Therapy Assistant.  The College plans on opening Fall of 2010.

According to project executive Troy Bystrom, the overall investment planned for the project is $10 million over the next two years, and it is anticipated to create an estimated 135 new jobs in the region by 2011. The vision for the project includes reestablishing the building as a regional economic engine, creating a workforce development and education facility, and building a lifestyle retail center.  Lackawanna College will relocate and expand into the 16,000 square foot top floor of the building and serve the region as a workforce-training center and continuing education facility, with classes beginning September of 2010.

The second floor of the building will provide office space, including individual office suites, providing shared services for professionals looking to open branch offices or secondary offices in the region.  A lifestyle retail center will be created on the first floor to provide products and services currently unavailable in the community, such as gourmet foods, a local produce food market, outfitter, bike service and sales shop, clothing stores, sporting goods, locally produced artisan goods, and technology products.  Proposed uses for other spaces available in the building include a STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Experiential Learning Center, STEAM Center (STEM center including the Arts), business incubator space, and a museum dedicated to the effects of the Wayne County Silk Industry on national labor laws.

The Silk Mill is the largest laid bluestone factory in the world built in 1880 with over 60,000 square feet of space. The building will be listed on the National Register of Historic Places this summer (2010). Call Troy Bystrom at (646) 236-3400 for more information.

(Photo courtesy of Lackawanna College)