Alvernia’s new Reading CollegeTowne facility at 401 Penn Street is a dynamic extension of main campus which showcases Alvernia’s student-centric approach to learning. The five-story complex brings hundreds of students, faculty and staff to downtown Reading every day, nurturing economic development in the City and bringing a thriving new energy to the Penn Street corridor.  


The home to the university’s new Bachelor of Science degree programs in Electrical, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Alvernia is meeting the market demand and workforce needs of the community. With state of the art labs and research facilities, these programs and the programs that will follow, will offer students experiential learning opportunities that rival programs at much larger schools because of the partnerships established with some of the largest businesses in the region and manufacturing companies in the country.


A brand new trading floor and business lab, used for a variety of learning experiences over a wide range of upper-level business courses, lends to the growth of the university’s enhanced Business majors, which include accounting, economics, finance, healthcare administration, human resource management, management, marketing, sport management and the university’s MBA program. The lab supports simulations, research and a wide variety of other business applications to provide students with an enhanced academic and real-world learning experience.  


The expanded Communication major offers leading edge technologies through both academic coursework and collaboration with Berks Community Television (BCTV), one of the oldest and longest-serving cable access managers in the country. With a new studio and office on-site at 401 Penn, BCTV works closely with Communication Faculty, providing students with insight into the industry and offering hands-on experiences.


Alvernia’s O’Pake Institute for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship and its student fellows work with dozens of local businesses, some of which are on-site in the facility’s business incubator, providing support and services that can elevate aspiring and existing entrepreneurs as well as provide experiential learning opportunities for students and clients. Services are delivered through an integrated network of partners, mentors, staff and student expertise. Fields include accounting, business development, communications, digital design, engineering and marketing.


Reading CollegeTowne has been designed to be a superior teaching and learning space with flexible, modular classrooms integrated with the latest technology. Community gathering spaces, lounge areas, and a Starbucks in the lobby are welcoming and open to neighbors and visitors. A brand new lounge for the university’s esport team is certain to become the hub for competitive gaming and its spectators in the region.


New modern residences provide students with a living-learning experience in the heart of downtown’s thriving Penn corridor. Shuttle service to and from campus runs on a continuous loop for easy access to classes and amenities at both locations.


Building Hours

401 Penn will be open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For residents of 401, card access is provided for after-hours and weekend entry.

Welcome/Information Desk

CollegeTowne’s information desk is located in the lobby and will be staffed 24/7.


Students residing at 401 are provided parking passes for the Chiarelli Plaza Garage on 99 North 3rd Street, Reading.

For students, staff, faculty and visitors parking is available at the following garages:

  • Chiarelli Plaza Garage, 99 N. 3rd Street, Reading
  • Reading Parking Authority Garage, 613 Franklin Street, Reading

For additional Reading Parking Authority garages go to

Some metered on-street parking is also available.

Shuttle Service

The Alvernia shuttle service will now run on a continuous loop between Campus and Reading CollegeTowne from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Always allow at least 30 minutes to arrive at your destination and track shuttle location with our shuttle app BusWhere for Alvernia University available for download at both the Apple Store and Google Play.

  • 24/7 on-site security
  • Reading Police sub-station located in the building
  • Security camera system operation up and down Penn Street Corridor

As part of ongoing safety efforts, Alvernia has launched a mobile safety app call LiveSafe which allows for reporting tips to Campus Security, virtually escorting friends in real-time on a map, and placing emergency calls and accessing safety resources. The LiveSafe app is available for download at both the Apple Store and Google Play.


CollegeTowne Programs

Female undergraduate student
Kiersten Ingram | Class of 2020 | Communications
Engineering Student Working in a Lab