Officials at Indiana University of Pennsylvania said a local party is interested in its campus at the Northpointe Industrial Park in South Buffalo Township in Armstrong County.
Samuel H. Phillips, IUP associate vice president for administration and finance, said Thursday during a quarterly meeting of the university’s Council of Trustees that a sale of the Northpointe property “may increase the use of the facility.”
Phillips provided an update as part of a report on the annual inspection of facilities, one that covers IUP operations in Indiana, Punxsutawney and Northpointe, during the Administration and Finance Committee portion of a daylong trustees’ meeting at the KCAC.
The Northpointe campus is described as covering 5.43 acres, with one 23,918-square-foot building.
In Armstrong County, Phillips reiterated Thursday, “IUP has committed to maintaining a presence on the campus.”
His comments came six months after the IUP trustees unanimously approved a “resolution for transfer or sale of real property” at Northpointe.
The action was followed on April 15 with an endorsement of that transfer or sale by the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which operates IUP and 13 other state-owned universities.
The inspection report provided at Thursday’s meeting said the state Senate approved the proposal on May 12 and the state House followed on May 24.
“Direct negotiations with the purchasing entity began on June 16, 2021, and continue,” according to the inspection report.
The March resolution said the move is “consistent with Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education guidance to reduce underutilized facility square footage and with university efforts to eliminate unnecessary, facility-related overhead expenses.”
And it insisted that “the university has established a plan for maintaining a regional presence” in Armstrong County.
However, according to IUP officials during committee sessions at Thursday’s trustee meeting, the respiratory care program at Northpointe may be relocated prior to the fall of 2022 to IUP’s Pittsburgh East center in Wilkins Township, just west of Monroeville in Allegheny County.
Housed in what used to be known as the Monroeville Graduate and Professional Center, Pittsburgh East is a leased 11,924-square-foot facility used for academic programs.
According to the university’s website, IUP’s Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degree program is taught in two phases. Phase One is preclinical course work on IUP’s Indiana campus, and Phase Two is the clinical phase, which now is conducted at the IUP Northpointe regional campus.
The Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.
IUP moved to Northpointe in 2005, after more than four decades along McKean Street in downtown Kittanning.