New anticipated date for library demolition, amphitheatre construction


Photo credit/ Courtney Snyder

Jessica Bonacci , News Editor

Marywood students, faculty and staff will have to look at the old library for another winter.

In 2014, The Wood Word reported that the Learning Resource Center, the former library, was scheduled for demolition in the winter of 2015-2016, with the creation of the Michael and Gwen Calabro Delfino ’47 Amphitheatre set for the spring and summer of this year.

According to Wendy Yankelitis, assistant vice president for Buildings and Grounds, the project is now expected to be started next summer and completed around mid-August 2017.

“We would love to have green grass at the end of September, weather-permitting,” Yankelitis explained.

Yankelitis said the university is currently working on fundraising for the project.

“[Sr. Mary Persico] has made it pretty clear that we’re actively pursuing fundraising efforts, but she doesn’t want to take any money from the operational budget of the University,” Yankelitis said.

According to Yankelitis, the operational budget includes the funds to run the university each year.

Yankelitis said the former library is “all ready to go once we get the okay to start [the demolition].”

“There was asbestos within the building so we had to do an asbestos abatement…and 95 percent of all the internal walls and ceilings and flooring have all been removed. So basically, what’s left is a shell–the floors and just the building columns,” said Yankelitis.

The demolition is expected to take a week, with three to four weeks to clean up the debris.

Once the university has raised enough funds, Yankelitis said the next part of the process will be to bring the project to Marywood’s president and Board of Trustees.

“If everything is in place, then we would take that to a board of directors,” said Yankelitis. “We need to get permission to move forward and to spend that money.”

Patrick Castellani, controller and assistant treasurer for Marywood University, said the university has raised over $200,000 for the project so far. The expected cost of the entire project is between $600,000 and $750,000.

“We’ll have [the money] raised by the time we start construction,” Castellani said.

A fall 2015 Marywood magazine story states that “Michael J. Delfino, a longtime supporter of the University and its mission, has made a $200,000 gift” toward the amphitheatre.

“Right now we have a major donor for the amphitheatre. We are out securing more donations, as well. […] [The project] will not come out of operations [budget],” Castellani said.

Castellani added that the money the university will secure will cover both the demolition of the former library and the completion of the amphitheatre. He explained that the cost and timeline of the entire project may change depending on how smoothly the project is completed.

“When you start ripping apart and digging underground, you just don’t know what you’re going to hit,” Castellani said.

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Twitter: @JBonacciTWW