On Thursday, the Penn State board of trustee’s committee on finance, business and capital planning unanimously approved East Halls renovation and construction plans and roof replacements at University Park. The board was also presented with changes in room and board charges for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Ford Stryker, associate vice president of the Office of Physical Plant presented the board with the final plan for the renovation of McKean and Pennypacker residence halls and the construction of a new residence hall.
The new residence hall will be a 413-bed facility with mostly double student rooms. The building will include student lounges on all floors, shared bathrooms and a private apartment for residence life professionals.
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McKean and Pennypacker halls will be completely renovated and will maintain the 213 bed count in mostly double student rooms.
The three buildings will be connected to the campus chilled water system to provide air conditioning for the units.
Also, the grounds of the East Halls complex will receive upgraded landscaping and walkway systems.
The project will cost $106 million, with funding coming from self-supported borrowing and housing and food services reserves.
In 2012, the university conducted a roofing survey that revealed 2 million of the university’s 10 million square feet of roofing needed to be replaced, according to Stryker. The university is conducting another roofing survey at University Park this year and is considering surveys at all branch campuses.
The university has repaired 450,000 square feet or roofing at University Park since 2012 and on Thursday approved replacement of 200,000 square feet.
The project will cost about $11 million.
Room and board rate increase
Gail Hurley, associate vice president, and David Rose, assistant vice president for auxiliary and business services, presented the board with a proposed increase in room and board fees for 2017-2018.
The 3.15 percent increase will raise the room and board by $165 per student, which increases the yearly price to $5,395.
The increase in revenue will provide for necessary maintenance and renovations of the existing facilities, according to Hurley.
Penn State room and board fees rank in the middle of the 14 Big Ten schools. Northwestern University’s fees are the most expensive at more than $15,000 per student, according to collegedata.com.
The full board of trustees will vote on the three proposals on Feb. 24.