Over the past few weeks, several Lehigh administrative offices and departments have moved to the newly constructed Gateway at Greenway Park building located at Third and New streets.
Relocated offices and departments include Purchasing Services, Human Resources, Real Estate Services, Development and Alumni Relations, and the Controller’s Office.
Lori Friedman, the director of media relations, wrote in an email that the university will occupy two of six floors in the building, joining several local businesses.
Adrienne Washington, an assistant vice president of community and regional affairs, wrote in an email that St. Luke’s Hospital and Grille 3501 will be two other tenants in the Gateway.
The relocation of these offices is due in part to Path to Prominence.
Human Resources associate Aubrie Fenicle said human resources was the first to move because its old office on Brodhead Avenue will be knocked down for the construction of student housing.
“The old Human Resources building won’t be standing any longer…but we’re happy to make more room for students to live on or near campus,” she said.
Lehigh’s expansion into the Gateway building might give faculty, staff and students a new opportunity to interact with the South Side community.
“Success at Lehigh is inextricably tied to the vibrancy of South Bethlehem,” Friedman wrote. “The relocation of some Lehigh staff and departments… are all part of Lehigh’s commitment to (its) revitalization. Lehigh is what is known as an ‘anchor institution’… which means it is rooted in this local community by virtue of its mission, commitments and relationships.”
With this relocation, Washington wrote, Lehigh employees will also spend more money at shops on the South Side, which will aid the area’s economy.
Joe Buck, the vice president of Development and Alumni Relations, said his office is the last and largest to move to the Gateway building. It will occupy the entirety of the fifth floor and about half of the fourth floor, including shared office space.
Development and Alumni Relations’ move from its current location in the old Centennial School building on Goodman Campus will bring its staff closer to the center of Lehigh activity.
“There is a tremendous sense of excitement to be much closer to Asa Packer Campus and to be in what I would argue is the most professional space that Lehigh has,” Buck said.
The relocation will also give the staff a greater opportunity to interact with others.
“Part of the reason you work at a university is to be around young people,” Buck said. “To be closer to faculty and students and student groups and the activities that are happening… will help morale and peoples’ pride in being a Lehigh employee.”
To accommodate this transition, the university plans to extend transportation services to Mechanic Street, Friedman wrote.
Though staff members were responsible for packing up their own files and monitors, Fenicle said ABM — the university’s contracted general maintenance service — and Facilities Services and Campus Planning have aided in uprooting offices and converting the spaces.
Despite his department’s excitement, Buck said the relocation will present challenges. Staff members will need to readjust to their new offices, resulting in an expected amount of anxiety.
“Overall, it’s been a really positive experience,” Fenicle said. “All the folks helping with the move (and the architects who designed the Gateway building) did a really nice job.”