From Saturns and Nissans to PSU Classrooms?
Penn State Abington purchased the former Faulkner Saturn-Nissan lot in February. Penn State is waiting to see which new programs it will be offering before it takes action on the property.
In the lot next to Old York Road Temple - Beth Am there are still signs that read, “Browse at your leisure. For assistance, please visit our showroom.” The signs were probably directed toward customers looking to buy a new Saturn, and more recently, Nissans from Faulkner.
Now that there is no more Saturn division of GM, and the Nissan dealer opened its new digs across the road, the building and the lot sit vacant.
Penn State Abington purchased the 2.7-acre property in February along with the 20,000 square-foot building that used to act as a showroom. But as of now, the property, which is frequently patrolled by Penn State security, is only serving as a overflow parking for congregants of Old York Road Temple - Beth Am.
Penn State Abington Chancellor Karen Wiley Sandler said the university purchased the property initially to use as additional parking space, adding that the campus is always crowded. (It actually didn’t need the extra parking for the spring 2012 semester.) But it also has bigger plans.
“There are some rough ideas,” Sandler said.
According to Sandler, the property isn’t being utilized because, well … the university is gaining in popularity and the school is looking to create more classes; it doesn’t know which programs will be added, and what facilities they will need.
“We’re in the process of requesting new programming from the university,” Sandler said. “I can’t give you the details, but we’re still working with faculty and surveying faculty and students. So we’re going to take this year — the next six months — and analyze our needs and figure out how to use the building.”
As of now, Sandler said Old York Road Temple - Beth Am is using the lot on Friday nights. She said she’d like to see a partnership between the synagogue and the university.
“Serendipitously, we realized that our neighbor, [Old York Road Temple – Beth Am] might need that parking in a time where we don’t need it,” Sandler said. “I met with the rabbi and offered it. They currently use it for overflow on Fridays and will use it for holy days this fall. One of the things we really want to do is be good neighbors, and we’d like to hold cultural events with the synagogue in the future.”