Penn State

Penn State HUB upgrades designed to bring the green, grandeur

Penn State celebrated a “building-breaking” ceremony Thursday with students and other entities involved in the renovations for the HUB-Robeson Center on campus.

Construction began this summer, but Thursday launched the official celebration of the $44.6 million project that will include a renovated bookstore, an exclusive Thon store for organization merchandise, an updated dining hall, five meeting rooms, a multipurpose gallery space, a library and a “green” roof.

Senior Director of Union and Student Activities Mary G. Edgington said money for the project came from the student facilities fee along with funds from the HUB reserves, food services funds and bookstore reserves.

She said that construction, by Gilbane Inc. — a Rhode Island-based construction company with an office in State College — should be complete by May 2015.

Hundreds of students gathered on the HUB patio Thursday as Penn State and construction leaders sledgehammered a piece of the old building.

“This is a project that has been in the works for quite a while,” said Damon Sims, vice president of student affairs. “We found the needs of our university and students and made this a high priority to renovate and improve the facility that suites their needs.”

Dozens of Penn State students said they were pleased with the plans and said they’re most looking forward to the eco-friendly roof.

“It’s something new and something aesthetically pleasing,” said Colton Parry, who said he uses the HUB as a central meeting point for social gathering with his friends.

“This is a really good sign of progress for Penn State and shows that the university is always growing,” added fifth-year senior and architectural engineering major Reinhardt Swart. “I won’t be here when it’s completed, but it’s something the lowerclassmen can look forward to.”