The president of Penn State University yesterday ruled out the possibility that The Dickinson School of Law might relocate to Harrisburg or Hershey. President Graham Spanier said the two locations had been previously considered as possibilities.
"I don't see Harrisburg or Hershey as a likely option. We're not pursuing that," Spanier said.
Dickinson Dean Philip McConnaughay last month laid out a Penn State proposal to build Dickinson a $60 million facility in State College.
McConnaughay said physical and program upgrades are critical to improving Dickinson's ratings. He said the best way to capitalize on Dickinson's 2000 merger with Penn State is to move the school to State College.
"We are not currently contemplating relocating to the Harrisburg/ Hershey area," McConnaughay said.
Dickinson's board of governors expects to decide next year whether to expand at the current Carlisle site, build elsewhere in the Carlisle area or move to State College.
Spanier said a broad, initial study of possible sites for Dickinson included Harrisburg and Hershey, home of Penn State's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
But he said it became clear that the most viable options were to expand in Carlisle or move to State College.
Moreover, if Harrisburg was targeted, the reception there would be lukewarm, said Randy King, spokesman for Mayor Stephen R. Reed, who was out of town.
"It is doubtful the mayor would encourage or support such an effort unless it was absolutely proven that Dickinson had to move out of Carlisle," King said yesterday.
"The mayor does not believe it is good public policy for one community to raid another community's resources. And Dickinson is an economic, educational and community resource in Carlisle," he said.
Dickinson board members this week were named to four committees to begin exploring options for the school's future.
Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan R. Jurden will lead the committee studying Penn State's offer. Midstate members of her committee include Christylee Peck, a lawyer with Rhodes and Sinon in Harrisburg, and Nathan H. Waters, Harrisburg School District solicitor.
Carlisle attorney Hubert X. Gilroy is heading the committee charged with examining an expansion of Trickett Hall in Carlisle.
Board emeritus member Robert M. Frey of Carlisle, who was Dickinson's president when the law school merged with Penn State, is leading the committee looking at expanding Dickinson in the Carlisle area.
Pittsburgh lawyer William R. Caroselli is chairing a committee which will study funding and strategic planning for a construction project. John Luciew contributed to this report. ELIZABETH GIBSON: 249-2006 or firstname.lastname@example.org INFOBOX:
MATTERS OF LAW Here are some of the options being considered by The Dickinson School of Law's board of governors to address the school's space and program needs:
* CLOSE DICKINSON'S TRICKETT HALL IN CARLISLE and move the 170- year-old law school to a new, $60 million facility in State College.
* RETAIN AND EXPAND TRICKETT HALL on South College Street in Carlisle at a cost of $40 million to $50 million. Additions to the original hall as well as adjacent homes would be torn down to make way for a larger facility that would include a shielded parking garage. The proposal could rely on acquiring a parking lot from neighboring Dickinson College, which is not affiliated with the law school.
* RETAIN TRICKETT HALL AND DO SOME RENOVATIONS. Extend the campus to the hospital building close to the law school, which will be available when the hospital moves to South Middleton Twp. Replace the hospital building with a facility to accommodate law school use.
* MOVE THE LAW SCHOOL TO A NEW FACILITY to be built on undeveloped land in the Carlisle area.
FILEART; DAN GLEITER; Caption: Trickett Hall at The Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle is the law school's principal administrative and classroom building.