Seton Hill University Breaks Ground for University Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Greensburg
“Music was Seton Hill’s very first major, back in 1918,” said Seton Hill President JoAnne Boyle. “And theatre came not long after. There are current faculty members here today that are looking forward to performing and educating in the new building, and theatre and music students who are excited about their new facilities. But this isn’t just a Seton Hill project; it’s a Greensburg project. When our band plays on this corner today, I hope you get a glimpse of what we envision for Greensburg’s future – a vital place full of magnetic energy and excitement.”
“Nobody exemplifies the real potential of the ‘town and gown’ relationship like the City of Greensburg and Seton Hill University,” said executive director for the Governor’s Office of Housing and Community Revitalization Larry Segal. “Westmoreland County is a fascinating place, and a laboratory of sorts for what we want to accomplish across the state. The small urban areas are coming back, and what makes Greensburg, and this project, great is the breadth of its collaboration. The legislative support from all levels has been unparalleled. We are just so excited about this baby breaking ground, and we can’t wait to come back for the ribbon cutting.”
“This is a great partnership,” said Greensburg Mayor Karl Eisaman. “I’m just so proud of everyone in Greensburg - how we all work together to get things done.”
“I was involved in theatre arts in college, and I know how important a place like this is for students,” said Congressman Tim Murphy. “To the students here today, I want to say - this building will exist because someone had a dream. Surround yourself with people who know how to dream.”
Over 200 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including faculty, staff, alumni and trustees of Seton Hill, Greensburg merchants, and Greensburg community members. Special guests included Westmoreland County Commissioner Tom Balya; Barbara Ciampini, Director of Planning and Zoning Department, City of Greensburg; Greensburg City Councilman Robert DePasquale; Karl Eisaman, Mayor of Greensburg; Steve Gifford, Executive Director of the Greensburg Community Development Corporation; Michael Langer, President, Westmoreland Cultural Trust; Larry Larese, Executive Director, Westmoreland County Planning Department; Jack Machek, Strategic Investment Officer, Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development; U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy; Mary Perez, Fiscal Director, City of Greensburg; Greensburg City Councilman Emil Peterinelli; Senator Bob Regola; Larry Segal, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Affordable Housing & Community Revitalization; Representative Thomas A. Tangretti; Greensburg City Councilman Thomas Tridico; Susan Trout, City of Greensburg Administrator; and Lisa Yaffe, Executive Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Housing & Community Revitalization. M. Ellenita O’Connor, S.C., provided the Prayer of Blessing at the ceremony. The Seton Hill University Dixie Cats performed.
The University Center for the Performing Arts will bring two of Seton Hill’s most vibrant programs – theatre and music – into the heart of the city. The Center will also serve as the completing piece of Greensburg’s Cultural District, with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art at one corner and Seton Hill University at the other, linked by the historic Palace Theatre, the restored Greensburg Train Station, cafes, restaurants and bookstores. Once completed, the 73,000 square foot center will include a flexible theatre, music hall, rehearsal spaces, set and costume design rooms, classrooms, and faculty offices for Seton Hill’s programs in music and theatre. The University Center project is the result of a collaboration between the City of Greensburg, the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, the Greensburg Salem School District, local legislators, and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust. As of today, the University Center for the Performing Arts Campaign, chaired by Michele and Tom Ridge and Anne and Jack Robertshaw, has achieved $16.2 million toward its projected $21 million goal.
Seton Hill University, founded by the Sisters of Charity, is a coeducational Catholic liberal arts university in Greensburg, Pa. Chartered in 1918; Seton Hill offers more than 30 undergraduate programs and nine graduate programs, including an MBA. Seton Hill brings the world to its students through its distinguished lecturers and nationally and internationally renowned centers. Recognized three times by Entrepreneur magazine as one of the nation’s Top 100 Entrepreneurial Universities, Seton Hill has also been named one of the Best in the Northeast by The Princeton Review and one of Pennsylvania’s Top 100 Businesses by Pennsylvania Business Central. In addition, Seton Hill has been named a University of Distinction by Colleges of Distinction, an organization founded by a group of concerned parents, educators and admissions professionals. For more information on Seton Hill please visit www.setonhill.edu or call 1-800-826-6234.