Hershey Center for Applied Research Celebrates Grand Opening

HERSHEY, Pa. (May 30, 2007) – It's the beginning of a new era of life sciences research in central Pennsylvania. That's what members of the Pennsylvania health care and economic development community celebrated on Wednesday in a ceremony to mark the opening of Building One of the Hershey Center for Applied Research. The work of the facility's tenants will focus on science-based and high technology research and commercialization activities. The event was highlighted by a speech by Dennis Yablonsky, secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development.

Located adjacent to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Building One of the Hershey Center for Applied Research is an 80,000 square-foot facility capable of providing state-of-the-art medical research resources to emerging, growing and established businesses. The building includes the region's only fully prepared wet lab space, as well as dry labs, office space and core facilities and equipment provided by the Medical Center.

"QUOTE GOVERNOR RENDELL," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell in a statement released today. "END QUOTE FROM GOVERNOR."

The Penn State Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine have agreed to lease over 32,000 square feet for the expansion of the College's Department of Pharmacology and Office of Technology Development.

In keeping with the Research Park's goal of improving life through research, environmentally friendly processes and plans were implemented throughout the construction process. Green building materials were used wherever possible and a stream which ran through the site prior to construction has been preserved and incorporated in the landscape of the 165-acre campus.

A historic farmhouse, built in the mid-1850s and last used as a residence for students of the Milton Hershey School, has been preserved and plans are underway for it to potentially house a coffee house and sandwich shop that will service the tenants of the research park. Plans are also underway to renovate an adjacent barn which could potentially house instructional labs for the Milton Hershey School students and other students in the region. Though current plans focus only on the development and success of the first building, the Research Park, capable of attracting medical research companies from outside the region and creating hundreds of high-paying jobs, could someday include up to 12 buildings totaling approximately 1.2 million square feet.

"We've talked with potential tenants from Pennsylvania, outside Pennsylvania and even outside the United States. That's the type of attraction the Research Park has," said Hershey Center for Applied Research Executive Director Laura Butcher. "They're drawn to the facility because of the state-of-the-art lab facilities as well as access to the Medical Center's research tools and facilities. Their interest is also a testament to the quality of life and competitive cost of doing business that the Capital Region provides."

The Research Park is a project of Maryland-based development firm, Wexford Science & Technology. Supporting organizations include the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, Hershey Trust Company as Trustee for Milton Hershey School, and the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania, an organization that was formed to provide start-up money and business support services to early-stage life sciences companies. The land on which the Research Park will be built is designated as a Keystone Innovation Zone and is owned by Hershey Trust Company as Trustee for the Milton Hershey School.

 
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