This article has been updated to correct the value of items stolen from a shed.
A wellness center that Elizabethtown College plans to open in the fall of 2019 is the largest part of a land development plan that the college presented to the Elizabethtown Borough Council.
Dave Madary, an engineer from Derck & Edson Associates, led the presentation of the plan to council members at their meeting on Thursday, Dec. 7. In addition to the Bowers Center for Sports, Fitness and Well-Being, other changes Madary mentioned were a new parking lot for students south of the tennis courts and, in the longer term, new potential residence halls. Madary gave a presentation of the plan along with M. Caroline Lalvani, the college’s director of community affairs, and Robert M. Wallet, the college’s vice president for administration and finance.
Council President Marc Hershey asked why the college needs new residence halls if the student population is not expected to grow. Wallet said most of the college’s residence halls were built in the 1960s or 1970s and will be cheaper to replace than to modernize. He said the old-style dormitories have shared rooms with a group restroom down the hall; modern residence halls have more apartment-style living.
“Students expect different housing now,” Wallet said. Right now, 76 percent of campus housing is old-style dormitories and 24 percent is independent living, he said.
“You can put freshmen and sophomores into traditional dorms,” Wallet said, but juniors and seniors want to live more independently, he said, adding that it is good preparation for life after college.
Madary said freshmen are currently allowed to park on campus, but that will not be true in the future. He said to prevent students from parking in nearby residential areas and annoying neighbors, freshmen will not be allowed to have cars at all. Wallet said that change will likely come in the 2019-20 academic year.
In other business, the council passed resolutions allocating $97,424 to the Elizabethtown Fire Department and $48,000 to the Elizabethtown Public Library. Both votes were unanimous except for an abstention by Hershey for the Fire Department and by council member Jeff McCloud for the library. Hershey is a volunteer firefighter and the fire department’s treasurer; McCloud explained after the meeting that he is about to start a part-time job at the library.
Also at the meeting, Anthony Czuchnick sought a waiver for a sewer connection for a building at 345 and 347 S. Market St., which he and business partner Trent DeArment want to rent out to commercial tenants. There was some confusion about the utilities there; Czuchnick said, for example, that there are two electric meters, but only one electric bill.
“We’re trying to make it right,” Czuchnick said.
Borough Manager Roni Ryan said Czuchnick’s request could be reevaluated at the Dec. 21 Borough Council meeting.
“We’ll work with you over the next two weeks and get this straightened out,” Ryan said.
Police Chief Jack Mentzer said $7,900 worth of property had been reported stolen in November and just over $300 worth had been recovered. He said in an interview after the meeting that an arc welder valued at $5,000 stolen from a shed accounted for the majority of the stolen property. He later said he had been mistaken and that the total value of items stolen from the unlocked shed was $5,000; they were an arc welder valued at $2,000, welder wire and accessories valued at $1,200 and a drill and accessories valued at $1,800. The theft happened in the 500 block of Radio Road, which is near the intersection with Willow Street.