Construction Will Close HUB Lawn
The building of a new biobehavioral health building will close parts of, and for a while, the entire HUB lawn, for the foreseeable future. While the new building, approved by the Board of Trustees last Friday, will add 93,500 square feet to the College of Health and Human Development, one of the most widely-used parts of campus will, though temporarily, no longer exist as we know it.
The bridge between the Henderson and Henderson South Buildings will be removed and the new, four-floor building will be put in its place. It will house numerous centers and departments within HHD, and the structure sport a “green” roof as well. Construction comes at an interesting time, as the project will cost $48.1 million while Penn State’s current debt amounts to $1.08 billion. The building is to be financed with University debt and state money; at the same meeting, the trustees approved a tuition hike.
Plans include improving the HUB lawn vis-à-vis hosting events, including adding a semi-circular area specifically intended for campus events. Until that time, however, use of lawn space will be very limited. Said Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers,
During construction, large sections of the HUB lawn will be closed off. And at some points, the entire lawn will be offline due to construction vehicles being brought in, construction materials being stored, and earth movement taking place.
While Penn State spokesman Geoff Rushton said that construction should be finished by July 2012, Powers could not offer a timetable on when the use of the lawn for events could resume.
Where will students go to sunbathe, play frisbee, and hold outdoor concerts? Old Main lawn is a clear alternative, but regardless of the venue, UPUA president Christian Ragland pledged his steadfast support:
I know I will be working with the University to make sure that there are other places available for students to hold events.
Though something as basic as our image of campus won’t even be the same, student life can certainly go on without too much difference; there’s not much that can stop Penn Staters from using their creativity to their advantage. Hmm, maybe we can have them give us the field in Beaver Stadium to sit around on in the interim.
Though the HUB lawn will certainly be missed as the most popular outdoor congregation spot on campus, construction isn’t scheduled to begin until late September or early October. So while the sun is still shining down on it, go soak up the rays while you still can.
[Photo: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson – via Penn State Live]
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