The HUB Expansion Explained
Rumblings about a HUB expansion have reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, especially with the first specs of the project being revealed on a series of signs in front of the HUB information desk.
The Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning discussed the new project in-depth this morning, which will add an additional 54,800 square feet and renovate 52,000 square feet to the HUB-Robeson Center.
The $44.6 million project will begin in the coming days and take two years to complete, if approved at the regular board meeting. The main additions will occur in the HUB parking deck area, which is a pretty big eyesore compared to the rest of the building.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new additions:
- The area near the HUB parking deck will be enclosed in a “green room” atrium type structure (see below) with a new commons area.
- The HUB bookstore and food court will be completely remodeled.
- The LION 90.7 FM station will be moved (TBD what will take over that space).
- PNC bank and the ID+ Office will be moved downstairs (near where the bookstore is now)
- A THON store will be created.
- Walkways will be improved on the Eastside of the building.
- The vacated PNC and ID+ location will be taken over by an office for the new Center for Character, Conscience and Social Responsibility.
- Three large meeting rooms will be added upstairs.
- A new multipurpose flex theatre will be added on the first floor.
- The entrance near where the HUB bookstore is now will be remodeled.
“Students affairs is bursting at the seams,” said David Gray, the VP of Finance and Business. “The students themselves are very, very interested.”
The project will be funded by the student facilities fee, Student Affairs, HUB reserves, as well as kick-ins from Barnes & Noble and food services, according to Ford Stryker, the Associate VP for the Office of Physical Plant.
Additionally, the HUB bookstore will be relocated to “modular units” on the HUB lawn for about a year starting this month while the building is undergoing renovation.
The committee also discussed a recent project that will help add wifi locations to campus. According to Gray, 23,000 wireless devices are connected to the Penn State network at peak hours — that’s more than double 15 months ago. The $8.5 million, 2-year project will upgrade equipment to create more wifi hotspots on campus.
“Students are bringing iPhones, tablets, and other devices now,” Gray said. “It’s saturating the capacity.”
Check back throughout the day for more updates from Board of Trustees committee meetings.