One little known fact about Old Main is that anyone can just walk right in the front door. Sure, a secretary will stop you from barging right into President Erickson’s office, but the lobby and other areas of Old Main are open to the public, including the historic land-grant frescoes.
However, a large part of those areas will soon be temporarily closed. When we return to classes in about a week, parts of Old Main will be closed off because of a renovation plan that was finalized back in November.
During this wave of renovations, lighting in the building will be replaced, more sprinklers will be added, and the surrounding environment will be stabilized. During this process, the lobby and main staircase will be closed, and scaffolding will be put up for ceiling work. Visitors and staff will still be able to enter the building from the doors facing College Avenue but will be redirected to the edges of the lobby and wing entrances through April.
There will also be renovations to the building’s water system, and the men’s and women’s bathrooms located in the lobby will be out of commission. The women’s bathroom will be permanently closed, while the men’s bathroom will reopen as a unisex bathroom.
In April, work will begin on the offices around the outside of Old Main, as well as on the heating system.
Most of the work will be done between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., outside of the normal business hours. Construction fencing will be erected and parking will be rearranged behind the building.
If you’re interested in the details as to why Old Main is being renovated, Penn State Live has more information here.
The renovations should be completed in time for the upcoming fall semester.