In April 2005, the Mercyhurst University Board of Trustees approved the purchase of 405 acres along the north side of Route 20 straddling the Girard Township-Girard Borough line. The property once was the location of the former Divine Word Seminary, a landmark in the Girard area until it was demolished in 1986. In May 2005, the University closed the $1.85 million deal on the property and immediately began laying the groundwork for establishing a new campus that would be known as Mercyhurst West.
Mercyhurst West embraces a 21st century understanding of education that is vested in new technologies, continuing education, on-going career re-training, and the challenges of a changing global employment environment. The future of education is vested in flexibility: building programs that meet immediate needs, respond to increasing competition, and provide services in creative, consumer-sensitive formats.
Mercyhurst West plans to emerge as a center for innovative programs in land, water, and building management and their related technologies. The future of Mercyhurst West is a self-sustaining entity at the forefront regionally and nationally for programs in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. In addition, with a focus on property management ranging from facilities management to wetlands/water resource technology to real estate-related finance/banking to traditional programs in liberal studies, Mercyhurst West will establish itself as a regional force in two-year, certificate, and continuing education and be a source of pride and energy as Mercyhurst University continues to grow in the decades to come.
Classes began in fall 2006 in a temporary facility, the former Faith Lutheran Church at 824 Main Street East, just west of the University's 405 acre property, as long-range plans are finalized. Building on design concepts already in place, the new facility is slated to be technologically-cutting-edge and architecturally stunning, truly a source of pride for the University and the community. In addition, the development and management of the land and water resources must be conducted with a commitment to maintaining and nurturing both the beauty of this magnificent property and providing effective stewardship of its natural resources.