Part of Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts is right now occupied by Kids Place. It’s an activity and exhibit area for children, but soon it will be home to a student center for Harrisburg University.
Starting next month, about 7,000 square feet of space will be leased to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.
“From a branding standpoint and from a mission standpoint, it really fits perfectly,” said Ted Black, CEO of Whitaker Center.
Black says there will be big changes in the coming months.
“Kid’s Place will migrate downstairs to the street level, which is actually a much better location for it because there’s a lot of activity that takes place there and generates a lot of excitement on the streets,” said Black.
As exhibits move around, Harrisburg University is moving in.
“For us, this is the perfect opportunity to create a dedicated space for, as I say, student clubs, student performances, whether musical or poetry, those sorts of things, also a space for peer to peer tutoring,” said Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University.
A new student union at Whitaker Center also means opportunity for new partnerships.
“Wouldn’t that be great to be able to tie what they do with regard to the museum to our academic programs,” said Darr.
“Maybe they’re designing and building things that could be temporary exhibits in the science center, so there’s a lot of exciting co-curricular activities that we anticipate taking place,” said Black.
Darr says he asked students for their input on what they would like to see in the new space.
“If you had a dedicated space, what would you like? And so many of the ideas that are in this space and have resulted in the design have come directly from our students,” said Darr.
It’s a new space for students that has the potential to greatly benefit the community.
Harrisburg University’s lease starts on February 1. They hope to have the student center up and operational for the fall semester.