(Posted April 11, 2001)

Juniata College will break ground on a $5 million improvement and renovation project at its Raystown Field Station at 5 p.m. April 19. Thomas Kepple, Juniata College president, will speak at the press conference.

In addition, Paula Martin, associate professor of environmental science and studies, and Chuck Yohn, director of the Raystown Field Station, will speak during the ceremony.

"The improvements for the field station will allow Juniata to expand its educational mission and improve our outreach to our surrounding community by using a resource that is truly unique in the nation," Kepple says. "The new living-learning field station will allow students who live on site in a highly energy-efficient residence hall to study the environment and surrounding habitat year-round."

The groundbreaking will be for the construction of a dining hall/multipurpose building that is part of an improvement project funded by grants from the Water Resources Development Act.

The multipurpose building will be the first building constructed in a complex that will include:

--A classroom/laboratory to support student course work and research.

--A caretaker's residence.

--A building for housing 48 students and faculty, to allow students and their teachers to spend an entire semester studying at the facility.

--The existing farmhouse facility will remain and will be used for high school and middle school outreach programs, college classes and for alumni and student programming.

In addition, the research station received $800,000 in federal highway funds and $200,000 in Juniata College funds to improve the entrance road to the research station. The surface will be paved with a high-technology gravel surface system from the turn off at State Route 3009 (or James Creek boat launch access road) to the field station site.

Juniata College, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established the Raystown Field Station in 1974 to provide special opportunities for environmental research and education. The Field Station provides facilities for local high school students and Juniata College students to study nature with fewer disturbances and greater flexibility. The 665-acre reserve lies in the valley and ridge province of the Appalachian Mountains and offers visitors access to the numerous aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that inhabit the area. The current main facility of the Raystown Field Station is a remodeled 18th century farmhouse, complete with 14 beds and a kitchen.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.