Representatives from Shippensburg University and the Shippensburg University Foundation celebrated the opening of a new connector road with a ribbon cutting on June 9, at 1:30 p.m.

The new road, a half-mile extension of Lancaster Drive, connects the SU Foundation, Conference Center and the Courtyard by Marriott to the campus and the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. Planning for the roadway began in 2009 as part of a campus transportation improvement project that was part of the university’s Facilities Master Plan, and supported by the SU Foundation

“This road will help eliminate vehicle/pedestrian conflicts, encourage a pedestrian-oriented campus and facilitate access to the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, the SU Foundation, the Courtyard by Marriott and our athletic facilities,” said Dr. Barbara Lyman, interim president of Shippensburg University.

Dr. Lyman thanked everyone who made the project possible, especially Mark Keller, the 86th District State Representative, for his invaluable assistance in securing funding for the project. From the university, she thanked the Council of Trustees, Mindy Fawks, associate vice president of administrative services; Lance Bryson, associate vice president of facilities management and planning; and Bruce Herring, assistant director of planning and engineering. She also thanked Steve Oldt, chair of the Shippensburg Township Supervisors; John Clinton, SU Foundation president and CEO; Chrystal Miracle, CFO and director of finance and administration; and the SU Foundation Board of Directors, for their hard work and partnership on the connector road.

The university and foundation also partnered with Rettew Associates, Horst Excavating, Urban Engineers, JMT, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development to complete the roadwork.

“This project was the result from the hard work and cooperation of many different entities. We are proud of the result and the many benefits it offers our campus and visitors to the area,” said Clinton.

SU Foundation board chair Joel Zullinger discussed the improved access to the Courtyard by Marriott that will benefit visitors to the Luhrs Performing Arts Center, Conference Center, university athletic events and prospective students and their families.

Steve Oldt, Shippensburg Township supervisor, highlighted the improved access the roadway provides to emergency responders. The roadway also allows for easier access for potential evacuees, as the university is identified as a mega shelter.

The road was made possible by funding from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, a SAFETEA-LU grant, a PennDOT grant and matching grants from the university and foundation. Cost of the road totaled $1.35 million.