Fairman Centre rendering

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the IUP Fairman Centre in downtown Punxsutawney will be held Friday, September 18, at 11:00 a.m.

The Fairman Centre, in the former J.B. Eberhart Building, is at 101 West Mahoning Street, at the corner of West Mahoning and South Findley.

The 106-year-old Eberhart Building was presented as a gift from the Punxsutawney Regional Development Corp. to the Foundation for IUP at a ceremony October 27, 2006, and the foundation started a $6-million renovation the following month.

With the renovation now complete, this 24,308-square-foot building includes retail space currently occupied by Gilson Glass and More, two kitchens, a dining room, lobby, three classrooms with multimedia technology, a board room, a 112-seat auditorium with multimedia capabilities and “smart” podium, wireless Internet, and twelve rooms for students in the Academy of Culinary Arts program.

The renovation and subsequent use of the Fairman Centre are estimated to create up to sixty new jobs within five years of operation and add the opportunity for three hundred new students at the Academy of Culinary Arts and IUP at Punxsutawney.

During the 2006 ceremony to accept the building, Dr. Tony Atwater, IUP president, announced the receipt of a $1.9-million gift for renovation of the facility from the Alan and Roy Fairman families, of Jefferson County. The facility was renamed the Fairman Centre in honor and memory of the late Alan Fairman and the late Roy Fairman. The Fairman family gift is the second largest gift received by IUP for a single purpose.

The Fairman gift added to and leveraged $2,444,500 in grants and contributions from federal, state, and local agencies, including $2 million from Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Matching Funds, $200,000 from the Appalachian Region Commission, $195,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Business Enterprise, and $50,000 from the Borough of Punxsutawney. Several private gifts also have been received for the facility.