Update, 11:58 p.m. March 14: University Strategic Communications released a statement on the loss of spaces available for on-campus housing and the university’s plans for substitute spots for students.
“At this time, there is not a bed-for-bed replacement plan in place, however, one is not necessary. While there will be beds off-line during any renovation process, [Housing & Food Services] will have more bed space than they do now when the renovations are complete. During renovations, we will most likely use space in White Course Apartments for undergraduates. We believe there is, and will be, sufficient living space for students.”
Renderings of the Athletic Facilities Master Plan call for several buildings that make up the Nittany Apartments to be torn down, eliminating about 100 on-campus housing spaces to make way for a new indoor practice facility. The practice facility will be attached to the planned Center of Excellence — a new hub for Penn State student-athletes.
“The indoor practice facility would impact the number of beds (approximately 100) at Nittany Apartments,” Penn State Athletics Director of Strategic Communications Jeff Nelson said via email. “We have worked closely with Housing, Food Services, and Residence Life on the impact and will continue to coordinate with them as we proceed with these facilities.”
Athletics did not mention this necessary demolition during a public presentation of the Master Plan Monday afternoon at Hintz Alumni Center. As far as we can tell, it’s not outlined explicitly in the Master Plan itself, but it’s easy to see the new facility will overlap with the current location of Nittany Apartments in the diagrams provided throughout the document.
The indoor practice facility and Center of Excellence would be placed directly below the Penn State Field Hockey Complex, according to the master plan. The practice facility will serve a similar purpose to that of Holuba Hall.
It’s concerning to lose these additional on-campus housing options as student enrollment continues to increase at University Park. Students are already required to enter a housing lottery system if they want to continue living on campus after their first year.