Wilkes University is investing $100 million to create a first-class, traditional, residential campus in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Our capital improvements focus on enhancing the educational experience and quality of life for our students, while contributing to the revitalization of our home city.
Stark Learning Center
At 128,000 square feet, Stark Learning Center has stood as the University’s largest and most prominent academic building for six decades. With the addition of the Cohen Science Center, Wilkes created the opportunity to upgrade and expand spaces for engineering, pharmacy and nursing programs now housed in Stark.
The $8 to $12 million renovation will add an Engineering Innovation Center to house nanotechnology, bioengineering and additive manufacturing flex laboratories. These high-tech spaces will give our students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and will turn an outdated building into a campus showpiece.
South Campus Gateway
The Karambelas East Campus Gateway, completed in 2015, links Main Street to the heart of campus in grand fashion. The South Campus Gateway Project will carry that same stately theme from the center of campus to the Henry Student Center Parking Lot.
Redesigned pedestrian and vehicle patterns will improve safety and traffic flow, while a companion gateway and quadrangle will contribute to a more traditional and beautiful residential campus.
Ralston Athletic Complex
Wilkes University will create one of the finest Division III athletic complexes in the Northeast with the addition of a new baseball stadium and a second turf field at the Ralston Athletic Complex. Plans for the project include improvements to walkways and gates, as well as spectator conveniences throughout the complex.
Recently Completed Projects
Karambelas Media and Communication Center/Sordoni Art Gallery
The Karambelas Media and Communication Center consolidates all communication studies scholarship and activities into one modern facility located at 141 S. Main St. Adjacent to the Karambelas East Campus Gateway, the facility includes classrooms, faculty offices, state-of-the-art equipment, a centralized newsroom, a high-definition television studio, a radio studio overlooking Main Street and a completely renovated exterior.
The expanded and improved Sordoni Art Gallery features enhanced security, fire suppression and storage facilities, allowing the gallery to host high-profile exhibits by nationally and internationally known artists. The facility’s new location provides higher visibility and greater accessibility to the campus community, the arts community and the general public, and contributes to downtown revitalization.
NeuroTraining and Research Center
The NeuroTraining and Research Center — the only one of its kind in the northeastern Pennsylvania — uses the latest scientific research on brain function to teach techniques that help individuals to improve focus, attention and psychological well-being.
The center, located in Breiseth Hall, features state-of-the-art equipment and provides research and internship opportunities for Wilkes students studying psychology and neuroscience. Training techniques can benefit anyone seeking to improve focus, reduce stress and increase calmness.
Karambelas East Campus Gateway
The Karambelas East Campus Gateway connects Main Street to the heart of campus, graced at the entrance by a decorative archway. Pedestrian crosswalks on South Main and South Franklin streets slow vehicle traffic and enhance safety.
The grand walkway features an 18-foot-tall clock, 11 classic lamp posts, 47,700 paver bricks, and more than 2,000 plants and trees, including five red maples, 1,000 pachysandra, 55 wood ferns and 27 oakleaf hydrangeas.
University Center on Main/Sidhu School of Business and Leadership
The 80,000-square-foot University Center on Main was renovated to house the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership. The school houses a financial market trading room that simulates a New York Stock Exchange trading floor complete with an electronic stock ticker. Smart classrooms, faculty offices, student meeting rooms and club space allow for collaboration.
The Sidhu School provides the ideal setting for a distinctive program that includes both academic coursework and a focus on personal and professional development to cultivate the next generation of business leaders.
Cohen Science Center
The $35 million Lawrence and Sally Cohen Science Center houses the University’s award-winning departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences. It features state-of-the-art equipment and related laboratory space for hands-on, experiential learning — a hallmark of the Wilkes experience.
The third floor is dedicated to research laboratories for biology, chemistry and environmental research, encouraging interdisciplinary connections and faculty-student team interactions. Green features include polished concrete floors, energy-efficient lighting, energy-saving windows, partially vegetated roof and responsibly harvested wood.