Dr. Tony Atwater, president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, announced today that the university has received a $1-million gift from Edward K. Bratton, of Indiana, for the Kovalchick Complex.

“IUP sincerely appreciates Mr. Bratton's generosity,” Atwater said. “This gift reflects Mr. Bratton's confidence in IUP and his belief in how the Kovalchick Complex will advance the growth and economic vitality of this community.”

Construction officially began Feb. 16 for the Kovalchick Complex, a $53.49-million, 150,000-square-foot facility to be located along Wayne Avenue adjacent to the university.

The facility includes the 5,000-seat Ed Fry Arena, the 650-seat Christine Toretti auditorium, a conference center, grand lobby, and commercial kitchen.

The Kovalchick Complex is a Pennsylvania Department of General Services project, scheduled for completion in summer 2011. The Kovalchick Complex 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.

During the ceremony at the university today, Atwater recognized Bratton for “significant, long-term, consistent, and generous support to IUP and the Indiana community,” including efforts to benefit the American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Indiana, Foundation for IUP, Indiana YMCA, IUP Athletics, Red Cross, and United Way of Indiana County.

Bratton is the owner of the Giant Eagle store in Indiana.

IUP officially broke ground for the Kovalchick Complexon Nov. 13, 2008. In December 2008, Pennsylvania Department of General Services Secretary James P. Creedon and Atwater announced the awarding of the bid proposals for the construction of the facility.

Mascaro Construction Company, LP, of Pittsburgh, is the general contractor; Farfield Company, of Lititz, will provide the mechanical and electrical construction; and S.P. McCarl Inc., of Altoona, will install the plumbing. L. Robert Kimball, of Ebensburg, is the professional architect.

The Horizon Team, a group representing Horizon Properties Group LLC and Summit Development Consulting Corp., was selected in July 2008 to build an adjoining hotel to the KCAC.

The hotel will be completed by March 2011 and will be owned by the Foundation for IUP, a nonprofit organization. Officials project that the hotel will generate $211 million in economic impact for the region in the first decade of its operation.

Major gifts to the Kovalchick Complex include a $2-million donation from the Kovalchick family, of Indiana, for whom the facility is named, and a $1-million challenge gift from Chad Hurley, a 1999 IUP graduate, who made the gift in honor of Fry, his former track and field coach.

Hurley is one of the founders of YouTube, the video-sharing website developed and launched in late 2005.