Garage at Cal U to remain closed

Scott Beveridge

The parking garage at California University of Pennsylvania has been closed since concrete fell from a ceiling in 2016.

California University of Pennsylvania has appealed a ruling to Commonwealth Court that it must reveal to a reporter with the Observer-Reporter any donations to its nonprofit foundation from a contractor who built a crumbling parking garage on campus.

A Cal U brief filed Tuesday challenges an Oct. 15 final determination from the state Office of Open Records granting the request from Gideon Bradshaw, who sought the donation records from Manheim Corp. to the Foundation for California University of Pennsylvania, court records show.

The Right-to-Know Law allows state-owned universities to redact foundation donations from individuals. The Office of Open Records determined that Manheim is not an individual.

The OOR also denied Cal U’s Nov. 14 petition for reconsideration of its final determination.

Bradshaw, who is listed as the respondent in the appeal, filed the right-to-know request before the university in August. He sought records relating to Manheim to the foundation between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2013, and all records identifying the use of those funds. The university subsequently denied the request.

Bradshaw filed the request weeks after Cal U brought a lawsuit in Washington County Court against Manheim of Mount Lebanon claiming it used a faulty construction method for the $10.4 million Vulcan Garage. A section of its concrete flooring fell to the floor below on move-in day in August 2016, narrowly missing people and vehicles. The garage was then closed and it has not reopened.

Cal U believes the Office of Open Records erred in determining Manheim is not an individual donor under the scope of the law, and that it also was wrong in determining the university is required to provide the records for its foundation, court records show.

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