Penn State

Penn State to demolish longtime home of Daily Collegian. What will take its place?

Penn State has proposed to knock down and rebuild the James Building at 121-123 S. Burrowes St.
Penn State has proposed to knock down and rebuild the James Building at 121-123 S. Burrowes St.

Penn State’s student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, will say goodbye to the place it has called home for the past 30 years.

The university is planning to demolish the about 100-year-old James Building, at 121-123 S. Burrowes St., to make room for a $52.8 million building dedicated to the Invent Penn State initiative, which nurtures entrepreneurship and innovation.

The new building will be about 99,000-119,000 gross square feet and will include a multi-use “Innovation, Making and Learning facility that will become the cornerstone of our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” according to a request for letters of interest to architecture and engineering firms. The existing 30,000-square-foot building, which was constructed in 1920, and its infrastructure are at the “end of their useful life.”

Penn State is aiming to start construction in November 2019 and complete the project in December 2020, according to the letter. State College Borough Council will need to approve the development plans.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the project is in the “early stages.”

The goal is to “create a new building in State College that will help create a ‘hub’ of activity and enhance the existing aesthetic and character of the urban site and tie into downtown at the adjacent UP Campus,” according to the letter.

All current tenants of the James Building, including the Collegian, administrative offices for the Bellisario College of Communications and the Media Effects Research Lab, will be relocated elsewhere, according to the letter and confirmed by Powers.

The new building will be the home of LaunchBox 2.0, the startup program that will replace Happy Valley LaunchBox. In addition to many incubator, meeting, classroom and event spaces for both community businesses and Penn State students, the building will also feature sustainable features and attain LEED certification. Onsite parking is also included in the project plans, per zoning requirements.

Penn State will select an architectural firm for the project and announce the decision at the Sept. 15 board of trustees meeting.