Harrisburg Area Community College is going to close the C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center on its Harrisburg campus and consolidate its administrative offices there.
HACC announced the move via news release late Tuesday evening, saying it would affect 11 employees as well as culinary arts students and vendors.
Full-time employees who lose their positions will be given severance pay, and laid-off workers will receive outplacement assistance and may apply for future positions at the college. Those who meet the requirements will receive retirement benefits.
The center will continue to operate as usual until Dec. 31. Clients with events already booked for 2013 will be provided other options and referrals. The college is reviewing options for the spring 2013 culinary arts courses.
Murray Associates Architects P.C. of Harrisburg, which designed the center, will design the renovation, which with equipment replacement is estimated at $1.5 million. Renovation is to begin in January 2013.
By December 2013, administrative staff currently at the Harrisburg campus and leased spaces at Penn Center 3 at 349 Wiconisco St. and Campus Square at 1426 N. Third St. will all be at the center. In the interim, employees in the Office of College Advancement and the HACC Foundation, currently at the center, will temporarily relocate to Campus Square.
HACC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski called the decision “extremely difficult” but said in the current economic environment decisions must be made to ensure the financial stability of the college.
“The consolidation will significantly reduce expenses for HACC, as well as allow Central Administration to improve efficiency and collaboration, and ultimately the ability to best serve students, staff and the entire HACC community,” Sygielski said.
The action follows committee analysis of the cost-effectiveness of consolidation options, which were narrowed to four locations in Dauphin County. HACC said major components of its decision included that the center had the lowest renovation costs, that HACC already owns the building, and that the center has accumulated a $3.8 million deficit during its 20 years of operation, even though it was established to be self-funding.