College under contract to buy property for Bushkill campus

William Gordon

The college has plans to buy property on Bushkill Drive to make new space for facilities operations, public safety and student parking.

The property, which is next to the Hummel Lumber site near Fisher Stadium, is under contract by the college and environmental tests and inspections are being done before it is purchased. Vice President for Finance and Administration Roger Demareski said the college plans to buy the land by the summer.

The plans to buy property and renovate the buildings are part of the Lafayette College’s “new direction” to expand the college, which the board of trustees approved on Feb. 20.

Two weeks ago, President Alison Byerly said that the college already owned all the property it needed to accommodate the increased enrollment plans. This week, Byerly said she “misunderstood” where the college was in the process and thought it had already purchased the property.

Because of the construction of a new integrated science center at Lafayette College Facilities Operations’ current location, facilities operations is being located to the site that Demareski calls the “Bushkill campus.” Public safety will also be moved there, Demareski said, because it needs more space than it has now in the basement of Marquis.

The building on the Hummel site, which the college already owns, will be renovated for facilities operations and public safety.

Next to that property, there will also be 200 new parking spaces for students and staff on the property next to the Hummel site, which now has a building for M.S. Reilly Inc., a cardboard recycling facility.

The college also has the property next to M.S. Reilly Inc. under contract, and it plans to renovate the buildings on this property for facilities operations’ storage and its trade shop.

By renovating the buildings instead of building new ones, the college saves roughly $1 million, Demareski said.

The renovations will begin next summer, Demareski said. Construction for the integrated science center is planned to begin in 18 months, he added.