The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

July 31, 2013

College opens Altoona center

Kelly Urban

ALTOONA — After a year of planning and preparation, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College officially opened its new Blair Center.

An open house was held Wednesday so the public could check out the 4,500-square-foot facility in the lower level of Logan Valley Mall.

People were able to apply for admission and register for give-aways including an iPad mini.

The center has four classrooms that each can accommodate 35 students and are equipped with smartboard technology.

Rooms also can be transformed into a computer lab with the use of laptops, and there is wireless Internet throughout the facility.

Another room will be used for community education classes.

Classes are set to begin with the fall semester.

Courses offered to students include accounting, business administration, criminal justice, general studies, psychology and teacher education.

“We have 25 students enrolled for the fall and another 20 applicants we need to schedule testing for,” said Julie Patosky, center director.

She said the move into Blair County was done because Penn Highlands saw a need for a community college in the area.

“We’re able to offer job training in addition to providing higher education classes,” Patosky said. “We are quite affordable, and with credits from here you can go anywhere.”

College President Walter Asonevich said he believes the center has the potential to become larger than the Richland Township campus within the next decade.

“We anticipate a rapid growth and expansion due to the areas that feed into this location,” he said. “The excitement here is obvious.”

The Blair site is the fifth regional location for the college, which also operates facilities in Richland, Ebensburg, Somerset and Huntingdon.