Foundation for IUP Gifts Three Buildings in Downtown Punxsutawney to IUP

Posted on 9/4/2018 5:57:40 PM

The Foundation for Indiana University of Pennsylvania has gifted three buildings in downtown Punxsutawney to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The buildings include the Fairman Centre, located at the corner of West Mahoning Street and South Findley Street; the adjoining Agape property at 105 West Mahoning Street; and the adjoining Miller property at 115, 117 and 119 West Mahoning St.

As funding becomes available, the two buildings beside the Fairman Centre will be razed to permit new construction. The new construction by IUP will house the Academy of Culinary Arts. The total project  including the razing of these two structures, is estimated at between $15 million and $18 million. The project will respect and retain the historic façade of the Agape property.

IUP Culinary Academy master planFundraising is already underway by IUP for this initiative through IUP’s Imagine Unlimited fundraising campaign.

Since its founding in 1989, more than 4,000 students have studied in Punxsutawney at the Academy of Culinary Arts, which has continued to meet and exceed its enrollment goals.

“We believe there is great potential for growth at the Academy of Culinary Arts,” IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll said. “Securing these buildings leverages the advantages we already have in Punxsutawney, which includes not only our current facilities, like the Fairman Centre and our West End Living-Learning building, but our strong partnerships and a joint commitment to offering educational opportunities in this community,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“IUP is fully committed to Punxsutawney and to this region, and we continue to appreciate the support that this community demonstrates to us and to our students,” Driscoll said. “As we move forward with this project, we will consult with our local stakeholders on the renovations and expansion.

“We also hope that this project will complement and catalyze further development in downtown Punxsutawney.”

“IUP continues to be deeply appreciative to the Foundation for IUP for its ongoing support and its vision for growth for the university and our programs, and for helping us to make this project happen,” Driscoll said.

A timeline for the project has not yet been finalized.

The Foundation for IUP (FIUP) is an independent, nonprofit charitable corporation organized to promote and support the educational purposes of IUP.

“The Foundation for Indiana University of Pennsylvania has supported the university since 1967 and we are excited to continue the on-going support with the university as they grow the successful culinary program in Punxsutawney,” Rich Caruso, FIUP Board of Directors president, said.

The Fairman Centre (the former J.B. Eberhart building), was gifted to FIUP by the Punxsutawney Regional Development Corporation and the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce in November 2006. After a year-long, $4.7 million renovation, the building was repurposed with classrooms and teaching kitchens for the Academy of Culinary Arts. The first floor of the building is retail space.

The 16-month program offered at the Academy of Culinary Arts is nationally recognized and accredited by the American Culinary Federation. After completing a final semester at a paid externship, graduates earn a certificate in culinary arts and can also complete a separate baking and pastry program through the Academy.

Starting in 2019, the Baking and Pastry program will be a stand-alone program, allowing for additional growth for this program. Academy of Culinary Arts graduates also will be able to complete an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts with an additional semester of study at IUP Punxsutawney.