Archive for Public Square

Wilkes-Barre’s Colleges and Universities: America’s Best Community

King’s College, the Commonwealth Medical College, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County Community College, and Wilkes University all have one thing in common: a current or soon-to-come downtown Wilkes-Barre anchor!

These colleges and universities have worked to connect their students to the downtown fabric by utilizing spaces on Public Square for classes and programs, remodeling their campuses throughout the downtown, and involving students in activities that encourage them to engage with the community.

King’s College’s King’s on the Square building welcomes their students to the downtown, and invites the community into their attached Zime restaurant. Local artwork is also showcased in indoor and outdoor exhibits. Additionally, the college has decided to share their space with the Commonwealth Medical College to bring TCMC’s exercise science and athletic training programs to the downtown.

Penn State Wilkes-Barre has become a part of the downtown by contributing the seed funding that they received from the INVENT Penn State Initiative to support the development of an entrepreneurial lab and mentorship program in the Innovation Center on Public Square.

The Luzerne County Community College has a space on Public Square for local students-an extension of its main branch.

Wilkes University’s Gateway Project has connected different segments of their campus, improved public safety, and enhanced a walkway throughout the downtown.

Students have also embraced activities that utilize our area’s natural resources and connect them with the surrounding community. Wilkes students have discovered outdoor assets of our area by participating in the 2015 Outdoor Nation Challenge-where they placed 4th out of 57 schools! Penn State Wilkes-Barre students have even become involved in the America’s Best Communities competition by educating and engaging local businesses, non-profits, community members, and college students!



America’s Best Communities Update: Public Square History and Redesign

“The redesign is focusing on how we can keep that initial idea, but how we can adjust it so that the city doesn’t require as much maintenance, and people can use [Public Square] in a better way… For us, it’s an investment in how we can create a place for the next 40 years that works for these functions. We know it’s worked for the last 40 years. With a little bit of maintenance and a little bit of care, we can revamp these things, keep our history, and then design something for the next 40 years.” -Nicholas A. Snyder, AIA, Senior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Watch Nicholas Snyder talk about Public Square’s original design, and how Bohlin Cywinski Jackson plans to built upon this foundation in their future redesign project.