Penn State

Final design plan for Penn State’s Henning Building demolition and rebuild approved

The Henning Building on Penn State’s campus is set to be demolished and rebuilt.
The Henning Building on Penn State’s campus is set to be demolished and rebuilt. Penn State News

A final land development plan to demolish and rebuild Penn State’s Henning Building received recommendation for approval from State College Borough Planning Commission Wednesday.

The Henning Building, situated on Shortlidge Road adjacent to the Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, will be demolished and replaced. The existing building is at the end of its useful life, the university said. Sweetland Engineering, of State College, is the engineer and New York City-based HOK Architects is the architect.

Completed in 1967, the Henning Building houses the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science and the Department of Animal Science.

In a press release last year, the university said the vivarium and labs in Henning “are outdated and lack the ability to meet the research needs of faculty and students.” The mechanical systems, windows, elevators and roofing all need to be replaced, it said.

The replacement building, according to plans, will be slightly smaller but have an overall similar footprint.

Maria Papacharalambous, of HOK Architects, presented the final plan to the planning commission.

“It’s a pretty simple building, but we feel like it meets the context and the environment pretty well,” she said.

Planned upgrades to the site include walkway extensions and connections, plantings and lighting. Work will include new concrete walks, a repaved parking area and utility infrastructure installation. Several existing major trees will be preserved and some trees and shrubs will be removed to accommodate construction, according to the plans.

There will be an Ag Mall “promenade” between the Henning and ASI buildings and the College of Business.

The final design includes a large lobby area for students near the main entrance, administrative offices on the north side with student workstations in the middle and open labs on the south and west sides of the building, said Papacharalambous.

In the connector area with the ASI building, there will be open conference areas for students and faculty to do work, and closed conference rooms with glass partitions, she said.

The total cost of the project is $89.6 million, according to university documents.

Sarah Paez covers Centre County communities, government and town and gown relations for the Centre Daily Times. She studied English and Spanish at Cornell University and grew up outside of Washington, D.C.