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MKSD News – Summer 2014

MKSD makes the news twice this month, as one completed project is being celebrated, and a new project begins.

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Northampton Community College opened its Monroe County facility to students last week. The Morning Call’s article notes some of the features of the new campus:

 The three new academic buildings provide much-needed space for the community college’s growing student body, said Matt Connell, the dean of the campus, said.

While the old location could barely handle the 900 students who attended the community college, Connell said the new campus has enough room to expand enrollment to 5,000 students.

“My day is made,” Connell said, as he watched students gather in the study areas, cafeteria and sprawling courtyard.

The article also highlights the design intent & green-building solutions explored by MKSD, MEP consultants Strunk Albert, and civil consultants HRG, inc.

” All three buildings on the new campus were designed to meet the latest green-building standards. The innovative design of the campus includes a geothermal heating and cooling system, several large solar panels over the parking lots and native vegetation that reduces the amount of stormwater runoff the campus generates.

Connell said that even with the three expansive buildings, the operating costs for the campus should be nearly the same as the college’s previous facility.

With more than 40 percent of the college’s electrical needs provided by the solar panels and the temperature of the buildings controlled by the geothermal system, utility costs are expected to be less than $80,000 a year, Connell said.

“This place is definitely purpose built for us,” Diehl, the student from Stroudsburg, said. “I am glad they put in the money and the effort to build a campus that is right for us.”

Read more about NCC Monroe (or enroll!) at their site “This is What College Should Look Like”.



We are also excited for new projects… The Lehigh Valley Business Journal posted an article on Wednesday announcing the plan for the future of the existing National Museum of Industrial History building.  The project is set to receive final approval this week from the City Revitalization and Improvement Zone tax incentive program.  Some highlights from the article explain the concept of this new Bethlehem hot spot:

” The building is leased by Elaine Pivinski and her son, Adam Flatt, owners of Social Still LLC, who together will produce, bottle and sell craft spirits. Pivinski and Flatt, owners of Franklin Hill Vineyards in Bangor, have been in business for more than 35 years.

Flatt noted that when the building was constructed in 1922, Prohibition was in effect and nobody working for Bethlehem Steel – or anywhere in the U.S. – during that time could buy a drink.

“After exploring other sites, we knew this was our home,” he said.

His intention for Social Still is to blend a popular destination venue with a craft distillery to create a new experience – distillery production with restaurant space.

The Social Still name comes from social clubs during the Prohibition era but also plays with the idea of social media.

As an example, Flatt said, the existing bank vault will remain in Social Still to use as a private dining room. The owners will remove some of the security boxes in the vault to store and lock smartphones and devices while diners are inside the vault, with the goal of getting people to speak to each other rather than checking social media updates.