Governor Wolf Announces Funding to Renovate Historic Scranton Building, Expand Training for Physicians

October 11, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) will receive $1.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds to renovate the W.T. Smith Manual Arts Building on the school’s Scranton campus.

“The William Tallman Smith Manual Arts Building – once a school to teach trades to the future workers of Scranton – will now be used to train future doctors, continuing its tradition of serving the city of Scranton and its residents,” Gov. Wolf said. “The project is also part of a larger investment that addresses the projected national physician shortage by providing needed educational and office space to train more primary care physicians, specialists and to provide additional advanced degrees.

“More physicians mean improved health care access for the area’s low- and moderate-income populations with fixed incomes, many who face chronic conditions.”

The project involves the rehabilitation of the blighted Manual Arts Building, in need of significant retrofitting and upgrades to meet modern educational requirements and add classrooms, office and innovation space. The Manual Arts Building sits on the GCSOM campus adjacent to the science wing of the Medical Science Building.

The project calls for expanding existing space by 23,500 sq. ft., allowing for an additional 40 medical students and 265 master’s level students by 2024.

The project also received a $5 million gift bequeathed to the school of medicine by Scranton native and real estate developer, the late Gerald Halpin.

“We are grateful to the commonwealth and the governor, as well as to the Halpin family,” said Steven J. Scheinman, M.D., GCSOM president and dean. “The funds will be used to restore a gracious old building of particular historical significance to Scranton and all of northeastern Pennsylvania. Halpin Hall was originally devoted to providing education in the skills needed for the economy of 1905. It is a fitting tribute to Mr. Smith’s legacy that a native son – educated in his school – went on to such great success. Mr. Halpin’s life story is incredible and inspirational, but I think it’s made complete by that fact that his gift will bring Mr. Smith’s vision into the 21st century.”

Supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) program, funding will support critical expansion projects, some of which will provide opportunities for additional economic development.

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