$5.5 Million in State Grants Awarded for Erie Projects

A total of $5.5 million in grants was awarded today for four economic development projects in Erie County, according to Senator Dan Laughlin, who strongly supported the requests for state support.

The grants include:

  • $3 million for UPMC Park renovations.
  • $1 million for Avalon Hotel upgrades.
  • $1 million for LECOM Corry Hospital’s expansion project
  • $500,000 for upgrades to the Elmwood Gardens senior citizen community.

While Senator Laughlin enthusiastically supported all of the requests for state funding, he had a special connection to Elmwood Garden’s request.

“I am extremely pleased that we were able to successfully usher the Elmwood Gardens request through the process,” said Senator Laughlin. “This funding was much needed in order to update their infrastructure. This will be a great benefit not only to the residents, but also for the amazing staff that makes this facility such a wonderful place. Both my mother and father have spent time there. My mother spent her final days at Elmwood Gardens where she received great care. She especially loved sitting in the courtyard, enjoying the beautiful flowers.”

Elmwood Gardens is a non-profit, personal care community that has served Erie for more than 50 years. Starting out as a personal care and intermediate long-term care facility, it grew into a two-floor, independent living and continuing-care retirement community.

The UPMC Park project includes a number of planned initiatives to augment the existing ballpark and arena.

“This ambitious plan will definitely enhance the experience for fans,” said Senator Laughlin. “The proposals include everything from renovations to concession areas to installation of a new scoreboard. The work will also enhance the synergy between the ballpark, the arena and the historic Warner Theater.”

LECOM Corry Hospital is planning to expand with a new medical arts facility and a 44,000 square-foot senior living center. The medical arts facility would allow for the rotation of specialty doctors — including geriatric specialists, oncologists and gastroenterologists among others — on a weekly basis from LECOM Hospital in Erie. 

“This grant will allow LECOM Corry Hospital to expand its facilities, which will increase the level of services it can provide for local residents,” said Senator Laughlin. “In particular, this will benefit the older residents of the community who currently must drive an hour or more to receive some specialized services. The senior living center will be close enough to the hospital for seniors to walk to their doctor appointments or to grab a meal in the hospital cafeteria, all without having to go outside.”       

The Avalon Hotel renovation work includes adding sidewalks, energy efficient LED lighting fixtures and HVAC units and upgrading the pool, rooms and meeting areas.

“These improvements to the hotel will be highly beneficial for Erie economically,” said Senator Laughlin. “They will create a safer and more esthetically pleasing environment that will be more be attractive to both vacationers and people here on business.”


Contact:          Matt Azeles                 mazeles@pasen.gov

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