Rendering of Gannon University's Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge, or I-HACK
Gannon University’s venture in the cyber industry continues to build momentum through ongoing construction to the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge, or I-HACK.
Phase one of I-HACK’s development plan is well underway. Workers are finishing demolition to the interior of the first and second floors and preparing to develop the infrastructure of the building’s academic learning and laboratory spaces. Renovation to the building’s exterior will also take place during this phase.
The second-floor educational space, the Pierre McCormick Cyber Learning Center, will house faculty offices and classrooms, open collaborative innovation spaces, as well as a security-controlled Cyber Hacking Lab, a Cyber Defense Lab, and an Internet of Things Labs.
This initial construction phase for I-HACK is expected to be complete by Fall 2020.
The construction following phase one will further develop the third and fourth floors to create space dedicated to business and product idea development in the Hatchery, Geographical Information Systems equipment, collaborative industry spaces for businesses, and a top-tier data center.
Design of the third floor and data center is in progress with construction scheduled to begin this September. The third floor will open in Spring 2021, and the fourth floor will open in Fall 2021.
Phase three of construction will develop the fourth and fifth floors to create industry commercial space and bring in and house cyber businesses in Erie, creating new jobs and workforce development opportunities for the region.
The university expects renovations of the facility to be complete in Spring 2022.
Gannon currently offers programs in cybersecurity and cyber engineering. Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., vice president of Academic Affairs, said the university is on track to surpass its enrollment goals in the programs this fall.
The university recently hired a new associate professor, Bharat Rawal, Ph.D., to teach in these emerging programs.
Iwanenko said I-HACK is gaining attention of technology companies that are seeking out top talent for the organization.
“Our vision of training a talented workforce combined with the other initiatives of our community partners related to housing and business development is adding to the appeal of downtown Erie as a premier location to live, work play and learn,” Iwanenko said.