Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Local News

Alvernia Eyes Downtown Pottsville Location to Expand CollegeTowne Concept

alvernia university pottsville

alvernia university pottsville

Alvernia University is actively seeking a property in downtown Pottsville to expand its student offerings and introduce its CollegeTowne concept here.

According to an exclusive conversation we had Monday with Alvernia President John Loyack, the Reading-based school plans to purchase a property in downtown Pottsville and have it up and running in a year as its next CollegeTowne project.

“We are actively seeking a downtown location and are very close to signing a Letter of Intent (to purchase a property),” Loyack says.

Loyack could not disclose which property the school is looking to obtain but hopes to have more information on that by the end of this week. He tells us that the goal is to move out of its current location at Cressona Mall in a year. Alvernia recently renewed its lease for one year at the mall.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

When complete, Alvernia’s new campus promises to be a boon for downtown Pottsville.

“It’s really an attractive downtown,” Loyack says. “Students bring foot traffic and vibrancy. We’re looking for a space to build out programs, build out the student experience.”

Alvernia Plans for Pottsville CollegeTowne

Until the ink is dry on that Letter of Intent, lips are somewhat sealed on the details of this project. But we did learn the basics of what Pottsville CollegeTowne will be and what it will offer.

The first logical question is: What is CollegeTowne?

Earlier this year, Alvernia launched Reading CollegeTowne, essentially a downtown addition to its main campus there. It’s located at 401 Penn St., a property Alvernia purchased and is renovating as part of a $20 million construction project. Reading CollegeTowne is expected to open this summer.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Pottsville’s version, like Reading’s, will feature classroom space and a new business incubator.

While the Pottsville CollegeTowne project doesn’t call for any student housing as it does in Berks County, it will be Alvernia’s new home in Schuylkill County, with all its classrooms located on their property.

The idea behind CollegeTowne is very business-centric. Not only will an incubator help develop new entrepreneurs, Loyack says he hopes the Pottsville campus will created skilled graduates that can help “close the gap” on talent needed by local businesses. He stressed expansion in the healthcare study fields, including nursing and social work, at the Pottsville location.

Alvernia Business Incubator in Pottsville

Loyack says Alvernia’s incubator concept aims to turn its entrepreneurial students into business “fellows” and it’ll be available to existing small businesses, too. It helps would-be and current entrepreneurs develop a product or service and test its market-readiness. The incubator, tapping into Alvernia’s network in the private sector, can also get entrepreneurs in front of investors.

“They’re trained over a summer in project management, business plan development, and a whole series of information developing processes to help entrepreneurs. They’re surrounded by our faculty,” he says. “It’s really focused on students developing ideas. An entrepreneur fails for no other reason that market acceptance. We surround them with people who have the skill sets to help them navigate everything else.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Loyack says of the 70 businesses currently at the Reading CollegeTowne incubator, about 50% are new entrepreneurs and up to 30% are existing small businesses.

“It really is a comprehensive network of experts to help businesses get going,” Loyack says. “That’s what we’ll be bringing to Pottsville. We need more space to do it in.”

Partnership with Pottsville Nursing School

Part of the new academic offerings at Pottsville CollegeTowne will be an expansion of the Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing. Loyack says Alvernia will be offering 4-year nursing degrees thanks to this new partnership.

“That’s what really has us looking for a new place to expand and grow into,” Loyack says.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!

News Tips?

Let us know of news happening in your area. Use our NEWS TIPS ENTRY FORM


  1. Mike Conway

    June 8, 2021 at 9:30 am

    If Alvernia moved into the former Giant Supermarket, it would keep the property on the tax rolls.

  2. Skooky Pooky Buttercup

    June 14, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Would be cool if it was the Thompson Building. Is there anything in the upper floors of that building right now?

    • Canary Commenter

      June 14, 2021 at 11:54 pm

      Pretty sure there’s nothing in that building at all now … completely empty. A number of years ago there was a rumor PSU-Schuylkill was going to use Thompson Building for student housing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From The Canary

Local News

His admission is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in this case.

Local Business News

Redevelopment clearly in the works.

Local News

They always say the key to getting ahead in life is in who you know. Nowhere is that more true than in Schuylkill County,...

Schuylkill County Man

Two spotlights, actually ... and they were floodlights.

Local News

Don't miss Public Comments at the beginning!

PA Lottery Numbers

The Powerball jackpot has surged to $850 million for tonight’s drawing, following an increase from $835 million on Wednesday morning due to robust ticket...

Local Business News

Jobs paying up to $18.75 per hour available.

Local News

Is Meuser changing his mind on Ukraine funding?

Local News

Bomb threat was part of a nationwide chain of threats.

Local News

It's the second billion-dollar jackpot of 2023.