After an intense summer of work, Penn State’s food court in the HUB-Robeson Center will open at the start of the fall semester.
The HUB’s food court, which closed in mid-May for renovations, will reopen Monday. Burger King will opened early, on Sunday. Two additions to the food court, McAlister’s Deli and Jamba Juice, will open by late September.
The plaza level entrance and exit to the HUB Parking Deck reopened in the last week, but the east entrance will be closed until September. Visitor parking at the deck will be $1 an hour.
Alex Novak, the Office of Physical Plant’s communications manager, said that the renovations were completed as part of the HUB’s $44.6 million project to restore the existing building and build an addition to it.
“Every time there is any opportunity to do any renovation during a project, we’re always taking advantage of it to improve things like lighting, insulation, accessibility and beautifying,” Novak said.
“This was one of those opportunities where we could do some of those things.”
Novak said the project encompasses about 106,000 square feet — 52,000 square feet of the existing building is being renovated and a 54,800-square-foot addition is being built.
The renovations and additions will result in additional meeting rooms, a two-story multipurpose flex theater, a renovated bookstore and a new Thon retail store.
The renovated bookstore should be opened in October.
Anand Ganjam, president of the University Park Undergraduate Association, said the HUB project was sparked by the Student Fee Advisory Committee.
“I think the general consensus is that it is going to be awesome for us when it’s complete,” Ganjam said.
“The HUB was extremely crowded before, so it’s going to be very beneficial from that standpoint. I’ve been back for a couple weeks, and it’s exciting to watch it expanding. They have pictures and diagrams of what the HUB will look like all over the place, and it’s really going to be great for students.”
Ganjam said the construction should not be a distraction, particularly because students didn’t lose office space that would force them to get creative with meetings.
“As with any construction project, it comes with the territory that there will be a lot going on around the HUB,” Ganjam said.
“That just comes with construction, but it’s going to be really nice.”
Novak said the two-year project is on track for its intended May 2015 completion.