Indiana University of Pennsylvania and IUP Hospitality, LLC, announced today that construction of a Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to IUP's Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex will begin this spring.

Hilton Garden Inn to Begin Construction Adjacent to KCACThe ceremonial groundbreaking for this six-story upscale lodging facility will take place April 29, 2015.

The hotel, to be built near the intersection of Pratt Drive and Wayne Avenue, is projected to open in summer 2016 with 128 guest rooms and suites.

Fiore Brothers Management, LLC, of Altoona, and Hospitality Asset Management Company (HAMCO), of State College, are developers of the project. The hotel will be privately funded, privately owned, operated by HAMCO, and sited on the IUP campus by means of a ground lease.

“An adjacent hotel was part of the vision for the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex from the beginning. I'm elated that the IUP team and our great partners are now making that vision a reality,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“All of the principals involved in this project have a very long, strong, and positive reputation in the hospitality industry, and we feel very confident that the hotel will be a great success,” IUP Vice President for Administration and Finance Cornelius Wooten said.

“The Kovalchick Complex has been well supported by the community and continues to grow in popularity, and the hotel can only add to the facility's success,” Wooten said.

This upscale hotel will be designed, constructed, and operated per Hilton brand standards, and will include the following:

  • An indoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi and a 24-hour business center
  • Food and beverage spaces, including a full-service restaurant and lounge with cooked-to-order breakfast, dinner, cocktails, and evening room service
  • A total of 3,000 square feet of meeting space

Construction will include green technology, and many exterior design elements will be incorporated to blend with university architectural features.

“We are pleased to bring the vision of many community leaders into reality,” said Michael Fiore, representing the Fiore organization. “We look forward to working with the community to be a responsible neighbor.”

“Being on the IUP campus and immediately next to the Kovalchick Complex will allow visitors, community members, faculty, students, and local guests to maximize the use of the Hilton Garden Inn,” Mark Morath, president of Hospitality Asset Management Company, said. “The facility will offer an ideal gathering location, with a lobby lounge, restaurant, and outdoor terrace dining.”

University officials project that bookings for events, conferences, and meetings at the Kovalchick Complex have the potential to increase by 15 to 20 percent with the addition of the hotel. During fiscal year 2013–14, the Kovalchick Complex hosted a record-breaking 407 events attended by 167,000 patrons. Those events included IUP commencement ceremonies. More than 47,000 people attended 325 conference center events during the 2013–14 fiscal year. The Ed Fry Arena in the Kovalchick Complex is home to IUP men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball.