Message from the President

Team of Visionaries

IUP President Tony Atwater

IUP President Tony Atwater

We look forward to breaking ground for the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex late this fall. The significance of this day cannot be overstated as a hallmark event in the history of this university and the Indiana region.

While we anticipate inspiring remarks from dignitaries and community leaders, this groundbreaking is much more than a ceremony. It is the starting point for realizing the long-term vision of many university, community, and commonwealth leaders.

There were many who doubted that the KCAC would ever be constructed and for many reasons. However, a strong contingent of individuals refused to let the vision of this magnificent facility die.

This $44-million facility, to be completed in spring 2011, is projected to have a $22-million economic impact on the region during construction and an annual economic impact of $12.5 million in each year of operation. The KCAC exemplifies IUP’s critical, stewardship role in contributing to the economic revitalization of the Indiana region.

While owned and managed by IUP, the KCAC will serve as a resource for the entire Western Pennsylvania region. This 150,000-square foot building will offer a five-thousand-seat arena for athletic events, concerts, trade shows, and other community events; the 650-seat Christine Toretti Auditorium; a fully equipped audiovisual global conference room; smaller breakout rooms for meetings; and full-service catering services. It will house administrative offices of the IUP athletics staff. It will offer students experiential learning opportunities through internships and work study. Physically, it will be a welcome new focal point for visitors and residents along the Wayne Avenue entrance to campus, and it also will be environmentally friendly.

In July, IUP and the Foundation for IUP made the announcement that the Horizon Group, representing Horizon Properties Group LLC and Summit Development Consulting Corp., will serve as the developer of the KCAC’s high-end, attached hotel. Owned by the Foundation for IUP, the hotel will offer up to 140 rooms composed of both standard and upgraded suites, banquet and meeting spaces to complement the KCAC, a hotel franchise restaurant, lobby bar, and a separate restaurant with its own identity, in accordance with recommendations from a feasibility study completed by Hotel and Leisure Advisors of Cleveland, Ohio. The hotel will add to the economic viability and attractiveness of the KCAC for visitors and event planners. Groundbreaking for the hotel will take place next year, and it will open in spring 2011.

A project of the magnitude of the KCAC could not be possible without community and legislative champions. I especially appreciate the valuable efforts of members of the KCAC Commission and Steering Committee, who continue to provide wise counsel and advocacy.

In addition to a lead gift of $2 million from the Kovalchick family of Indiana, we have received significant financial support through Congressman John Murtha. We have also been successful in securing funding from foundations, corporations, businesses, alumni, and friends. In September, the Council of Trustees approved naming of the KCAC conference room in recognition of the PNC Foundation’s July $300,000 commitment. The Indiana Initiative continues to pick up momentum with a steady stream of continuing gifts.

Thanks to all who have stayed the course and who were part of our team of visionaries who have helped to advance the KCAC. This project is central to advancing our magnificent university and community and to sustaining our tremendous legacy of academic excellence.