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Kovalchick Complex to Receive Funding for Flood-Control Measures

Indiana University of Pennsylvania received $2.12 million through Pennsylvania’s H20 PA water-related infrastructure renewal program for the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

The funds are from the $800 million H2O PA fund that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed into law in July. The KCAC is one of five flood-control projects in the state approved for funding.

“We are very pleased to receive this funding from the commonwealth,” Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, said. “Not only does it help us to advance this project—it addresses the recurrent flood problem, which has been identified as a critical restriction to economic development in the project area and surrounding commercial properties.”

University officials broke ground in November 2008 for the KCAC, a $53.4-million facility along Wayne Avenue, adjacent to the university.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, IUP celebrated a $1-million gift from 1999 graduate Chad Hurley to name the five-thousand-seat KCAC arena the Ed Fry Arena. Fry, who recently retired, was a longtime IUP Music faculty member and track and field coach. In March, IUP celebrated its third $1-million gift to the KCAC from Indiana businessman Edward Bratton.

The KCAC, named in honor of the Kovalchick family, of Indiana, will also include the 650-seat Christine Toretti auditorium, a conference center, grand lobby, commercial kitchen, and offices for IUP athletics. The facility also includes an adjacent full-service hotel.

Construction for the KCAC began in March and will be completed in June 2011. The KCAC and hotel are projected to have an economic impact of more than $358 million during the first ten years of operation.

The H20 PA funding will be used for improvements to the floodway along Marsh Run, Whites Run, and Stoney Run to reduce recurrent flooding of public roadways, railway, IUP’s Miller Stadium, and adjacent properties.

The floodway improvement project includes the following:

  • Clearing obstructions from stream flow paths and widening stream channels
  • Removing an undersized pipe culvert in Whites Run and opening the stream flow path to reduce backup into the IUP campus and stadium
  • Removing an undersized box culvert along Marsh Run and returning the section of stream to its proper size to reduce flooding along Wayne Avenue and associated commercial properties. The stream section has been designed to improve ecological factors, improve stream hydrology and decrease potential for backflow upstream of the site. A properly sized bridge culvert will be constructed to provide access between Wayne Avenue and site development.
  • Removing debris to widen the channel and stabilizing stream banks along Stoney Run to improve flow characteristics of the stream
  • Constructing storm-water management facilities needed to reduce impact to local streams currently generated by unrestricted storm-water runoff from roadways, commercial development, and IUP grounds.