By the time Penn State’s record incoming class begins its sophomore year, there will be more room to go around.
Two residence halls, totaling about $100 million, are scheduled to be completed by next July, while the Intramural Building’s 34,600-gross-square-foot addition will open a month later. The projects are overseen by the university’s Office of Physical Plant, and are part of a five-year capital plan totaling $3.28 billion.
A new North Halls residence, located behind Holmes Hall near East Park Avenue, will hold 310 beds, with the bulk distributed among double rooms. The five-story, approximately 86,000-square-foot building has a budget of about $33.5 million.
East Halls, meanwhile, will add a 96,000-square-foot residence hall housing 336 beds. The construction will stretch to nearby Stuart Hall and Findlay Commons Dining Hall, where each will receive large-scale renovations. Stuart Hall will get a 67,000-square-foot renovation, while the dining commons will tack on a 5,800-square-foot addition to its existing 123,500-square-foot building.
The IM Building, one of the campus’s three recreational and fitness facilities, continues to grow. A 48,000-square-foot addition, including several multipurpose rooms and a new entry walkway, was completed in 2014. By next August, the extra 34,600 square feet will house an indoor turf field, a climbing wall and squash courts. There will also be additional multipurpose rooms, according to the OPP.
The OPP presented the projects to the board of trustees in September 2015. Growing enrollment coupled with aging structures across campus prompted the plan, which focuses on renovating existing facilities through 2018.
Total incoming enrollment is expected to be 8,900 when classes begin on Aug. 22, the most in the school’s history. Penn State received a record 132,000 applications for the current academic year, with about 18,000 accepting offers across the university’s campuses.
At Penn State’s the University Park campus, 65 percent of the buildings are more than 25 years old. “Significant renovations,” the OPP said, are required to keep up with research and teaching needs of the university.
“This plan for the long-term protection of our physcial assets is an investment in our future,” OPP Vice President Ford Styker said in a statement. “These improved facilities will better serve the teaching and research missions of the university and strengthen Penn State for years to come.”
The plan is funded through several sources, including tuition and about $40 million in state funding. Funding will also come from self-supporting units such as the Hershey Medical Center, major gifts and student facility fees.
Tuition rates at University Park increased by 2.3 percent for in-state students and about 3.4 percent for those coming from outside Pennsylvania for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy
Thomas Building and Greenberg
Major renovation project is complete. Minor interior renovations are taking place this summer in preparation for the new chemical and bioengineering building.
Morgan Academic Center
Consolidates Morgan Academic Center functions from across campus into one location, within the Greenberg Building.
Construct an approximate 34,600-gross-square-foot addition to the building, which will include an indoor turf field, climbing wall, squash courts and several multipurpose and support spaces.
Replace existing lighting with new more efficient LED lighting.
Renovate locker and equipment rooms.
Rec Hall Lorenzo Wrestling Complex
Renovate the hydrotherapy areas.
Renovate the existing dining hall.
Construct a new 336-bed residence hall.
Ag Engineering Building
Renovations to portion of existing building and complete reconstruction of other portions.
To start August 2016
Construct new 310-bed residence hall.
Parking Revenue Control System
All parking decks will install a new parking access control system that will display the number of spaces available and establish a 24/7 communications system for visitors. HUB, Elliott and Rider parking decks will undergo repairs and proactive maintenance.
Will provide a controlled single access point to portions of Rec Hall, White Building and the Natatorium. This will include installation of staffed entry desks and turnstiles.
Renovation of existing building and addition.
New facility to support general and research computing needs for University Park and Penn State Health (Hershey).
Water treatment plant
New facility to provide high level filtration of campus water system. The project also includes upgrades to the existing water distribution system, including towers and underground piping.
West Campus steam plant
Ongoing renovations to the steam plant.
Renovations to the undergraduate chemistry teaching labs on the first and second floors of the building.
Renovations to the east wing of Ritenour. Will create a student-focused facility to enhance collaboration and consolidate academic advising offices.
Source: Penn State