California here we come – PA that is. Summer Institute (CERSI) is moving to California University of Pennsylvania just south of Pittsburgh for next year. Next year on July 12-18, 2020 the CERSI community will convene in California, PA.
Oberlin College is undergoing a major renovation project of all their dorms and other buildings over the next couple of years. To accomplish this they are not hosting any summer programming on campus until the project is done. This requires that CERSI find a new home.
Why did you choose California, PA?
It’s more centrally located in the Central East Region, only 45 minutes from Pittsburgh, 3 hours from Columbus, 2.5 hours from Cleveland and Akron, 3 hours from Charleston, 4 hours from Washington DC. Easy access to the Pittsburgh airport and just off I-70. The town of California, PA is small and adjacent to campus for those who want to get off campus for a few hours. When we visited, they just blew us away with all the things they offered us as a visiting group.
Are there any benefits of California University of PA?
Oh yes there are!
Housing – Every dorm room has a private bath and come as singles, doubles and quads. They are all air conditioned and are in buildings with elevators. Every dorm has a lounge or activity room on each floor, laundry facilities and a kitchen. CERSI would only occupy two to three dorms on campus so folks would be close by.
Dining – AVI food (the same company that is at Kenyon) runs the cafeteria. Food is locally sourced and some is even grown on the campus farm in the area. There are six flavors of homemade gelato and two flavors of vegan sorbet available at every lunch and dinner. They have an allergy center and the chef consults with the group on menus. A salad bar is available at both lunch and dinner. There are bathrooms in the dining area for convenience. The student union coffee shop sells smoothies, coffees and was and is open hours flexible with our schedule.
Meeting spaces – We’ll have exclusive use of the entire Convocation Center and Student Union. This means lots of workshop space, a pub and plenty of places to have small conversations. All indoor spaces are air conditioned. RE space will be in the same building as the theme speaker and cafeteria.
How About Recreation?
There are grassy areas for hanging out, and a turf field for games, ultimate frisbee and play. We have full access to the convocation floor where basketball and volleyball can be set up on our schedule. How about a Hammock Village? A yard full of posts that hold hammocks you bring along. Two (count them two!) pools. One lap pool and a play pool which is open all afternoon. Two interactive fountains for kids of all ages are also on campus.
Are there other benefits of the campus?
Yes! Dorms and meetings spaces are close to each other. The campus has WiFi throughout, in all the buildings and outdoors. There are monitors up throughout the campus that will have our schedule and announcements on them. There are large screens in place in the main meeting space for projecting hymn lyrics, slide shows and multimedia presentations (no more setting up our own!) There is no through traffic on campus and lots of bike racks.
So plan to join us July 12-18, 2020 in California, PA and help us explore our new space!