HUB Expansion On Pace to Open Before Spring Break
It’s no secret that the HUB expansion project is behind schedule and has, quite frankly, become irritating to deal with. The last time we checked in on the expansion project, we were told that it was on schedule for a spring opening without a specific date. Well, we now have one.
According to Senior Director of Union and Student Activities Mary Edgington, the new section of the HUB is expected to open in March prior to Spring Break. Although she didn’t have a specific day due to the intricacies of a construction schedule, by an easy process of elimination it can be seen that the addition will open in the first week of March.
Featuring 54,800 square feet of new space and another 52,000 square feet of renovated space, the construction project is one of the most difficult Penn State has ever taken on. Bringing together different additions has proven troublesome according to Edgington, but the end is now in sight.
Unbeknownst to most students, the south entrance near the White Building is already up and running. The new Penn State Federal Credit Union, id+ office, and PNC Bank branch opened in the section Friday, but visitors are only able to reach the existing area of the building through an elevator for the time being.
The renovated Barnes and Noble Bookstore is also set to open in mid to late-February, replacing the dungeon-like atmosphere of its predecessor. Students can expect to see an updated bookstore, putting an end to the construction trailers on the HUB Lawn.
We were lucky enough to take a tour of the work in progress, albeit in the middle of a hectic construction scene. Here, we will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the new HUB:
It’s hard to imagine now, but the addition’s focal point, the “monumental” staircase, will feature terrazzo steps on the sides. The double stairs will act as seats for students to hang out on, and will be made of hardwood, with outlets built-in so students can charge devices between classes.
Although it doesn’t look like much now, the highly anticipated THON retail store is beginning to take shape, right next to the HUB Parking Deck entrance.
By far the coolest room of the section, the new flex theatre will feature retractable seats for rehearsal time, a lighting grid for easy set up, and a connected green room.
Edgington was especially proud of the additional meeting rooms throughout the first and second floors of the new section. Student organizations will now be able to meet with larger groups while also overlooking the giant atrium in the middle of the section.
The new bookstore will feature a terraced area accessible from the ground floor overlooking the main area of the store.
You may not realize it, but the temporary wall next to Jamba Juice will actually open up to the atrium come March.
The Lion will also move into the new section from its three separate rooms throughout the existing HUB to one, centralized space.
Students won’t be able to take advantage of it this year, but the new Green Roof Terrace will open for the fall semester so students can enjoy the sights and sounds of campus (including a beautiful view of Mt. Nittany).
With the finishing touches to be completed in the next month, the new HUB is shaping up nicely. The wait will be well worth it come March.