Gateway renovations to be completed Oct. 2, dedication to be held

On the afternoon of Oct. 2, President Patrick F. Leahy will kick off homecoming weekend by dedicating the new visually-appealing and safety-enhancing Gateway in a formal ceremony.

After months of work, the $1 million project will be coming to an end. Wilkes University was given a $600,000 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation multi-model grant, which was then matched by $400,000 from the University.

Chip Prescott, the university’s chief operating officer and supervisor of all facility projects, explained the goals behind this project.

They include creating a safe and attractive corridor from South Main Street to the center of campus, enhancing the university’s presence on South Main Street and developing a corridor that will improve pedestrian traffic from Towers to the central part of campus.

“The creation of the campus gateway will do more than provide a new and visible entrance to the Wilkes campus. Urban universities often struggle to create a cohesive campus on city streets. The gateway accomplishes that by seamlessly linking the parts of our campus separated by South Franklin Street with a beautifully landscaped area,” said Leahy in a university news release.

Prescott also described the specific features that the gateway will include.

“A wide, safe path for pedestrian traffic, new security cameras to enhance safety, new crosswalks on South Main Street and South Franklin Street,” said Prescott, also adding that the crosswalk on South Franklin will be raised in order to provide additional safety.

Marketing Communications Director Vicki Mayk, who has been in charge of publicizing the project, shared her thoughts on the gateway.

“It really unites the two main parts of our campus so that it feels more cohesive,” she said.

The gateway is expected to be completed shortly, adding yet another new feature for alumni to explore when they come back to Wilkes for homecoming weekend.