posted May 10, 2018
Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar led the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the REACHland Connect community project on May 17, 2018.
The event took place at the Richland Town Centre parking lot's Eisenhower Blvd. entrance near Panera Bread.
A group walk to a section of the proposed trail concluded the event.
“The goal of this project was always to connect people,” said Dr. Spectar. “We’re not just creating a walkable community, we’re helping to build relationships and in this case we’re helping to bring thousands of people to the heart of the commercial district here in Richland.
“When you have a place where people can take a walk and relax in nature, it’s not just healthy, it’s environmentally sustainable and above all, it builds community.”
Cambria County Commissioner Tom Chernisky, Pennsylvania State Rep. Bryan Barbin, Pennsylvania State Sen. Wayne Langerholc, retired State Sen. John Wozniak, and Richland School District Superintendent Arnie Nadonely were among other dignitaries in attendance.
In February, Pitt-Johnstown received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Transportation to begin a sidewalk and bike path construction project to connect the campus and education corridor to the nearby Richland Town Centre.
REACHland (Recreational, Environmentally-safe, Access way for Community and Healthy-Living) Connect, is a multi-phase initiative to link, by sidewalks and bike paths, campus and community with culture and commerce.
The first phase, which is set to begin in September, includes a paved bike path and sidewalk connecting Pitt-Johnstown, the University’s College Park Apartments, Penn Highlands Community College, Richland School District, Highland Community Library, Richland Township Municipal Building, and the Richland Town Centre.
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.