PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



How To Survive East’s Renovations Next Semester

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or hiding away in your dorm watching nothing but Netflix, you definitely know the planned renovations for East Halls starting this spring. According to Penn State, construction will occur on 45 percent of Johnston Commons, and the majority of it will be made to the dining options. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s going to be different when you come back for the spring semester:

  • Bye, bye Fresh Express. If you live off of hoagies, you won’t be able to venture to the upstairs sandwich locale in the spring. But luckily, the Big O will expand its grinders option to include sandwiches with deli meats.
  • Sayōnara Asian Grille will be no more. The made-to-order hibachi and pot stickers will closed for the spring, and there will be no temporary replacement.
  • Findlay Commons is going to be closed, sort of. Half of the commons is closing, according to Housing and Food services. That means half of the dining options will be gone, so there will be less buffet options and seating upstairs.
  • Fisher Hall is closing. This hall is a hidden gem of East. Unfortunately, the many study rooms, lounges, and meeting rooms will not be available in the spring, as the building is being renovated.

Though your specific dorm probably isn’t being renovated, there’s going to be plenty of construction in East Halls. The already crowded Big O will likely see more traffic, and there will be less study space in Johnston Commons without Fisher’s study rooms. If you need to get away from the throngs of your fellow freshmen, here are some alternative places to study and eat close to East Halls:

  • Pollock: Pollock Commons has all of the same dining hall options as Findlay, but adds more variety. Pollock is a short walk down the road from East, so it’s not too far from home. Studying space in Pollock is limited, but the gaming room and cultural lounge can prove to be quick study spots to get some work done.
  • The Business Building: Smeal’s flagship building has a mixed greens salad bar and a Starbucks. There is plenty to eat in Smeal, and even more places to diligently study. It’s a hidden gem for eating on campus.
  • Creamery: Believe it or not, the Creamery has a tons of dining options other than ice cream. Fresh fruits and vegetables, hot Irving’s breakfast sandwiches, and a number of drinks and snacks — the Berkey Creamery will not disappoint when looking to eat.
  • Your own hall: Every hall has a lounge fitted with ample seating in the forms of tables and couches/chairs, and even has a TV, and a piano. Instead of hiking all the way to the library, studying in your own hall doesn’t even require you to put a coat or real shoes on.
  • IM building: If you’ve got a gym membership, there are places to study in the IM building right next to East. The lounge area has comfortable seats, TVs, and high tables where you can set up and get some work done after the grind in the gym.

For freshmen, heading to the HUB, library, or downtown is not always convenient when you need to eat or study, especially when the weather is cold, wet, or snowy. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to survive East’s renovations. And even if you don’t live in East, these tips can help you find a quiet place to study on campus. As we all know, every season is construction season at Penn State.

About the Author

Tim Reams

is the HR Strategic Partner for Onward State, but he's still churning out the good photos and stories occasionally. He's a junior majoring in Labor Employment Relations, minoring in one too many things, and he'll probably become the next Onward State schmuck to go to law school. Tim comes from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area (yes where the TV show the office is based off of) and was raised a die hard fan of all things Penn State. For any inquiries or spamming email [email protected], or feel free to sliiiiide into his DMs on twitter @TPReams.


More by Tim

Piano Fight Club Lights Up BJC With Unique Set Filled With Firsts

The dueling piano group Piano Fight Club brought a brief and unique set to the BJC filled with some firsts for THON.

Natty Nittany: THON 2018 Edition

Brass Cadillacs Rocks The BJC With Throwback Ska Set


Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Former Penn State women’s gymnastics head coach Jeff Thompson has filed a lawsuit against the university following the termination of his contract in February 2017. Thompson, alongside his wife and associate head coach Rachelle Thompson, was accused by former gymnasts and an assistant coach of creating a hostile team environment. The Thompsons allegedly pressured athletes to compete […]

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Penn State Women’s Soccer Adds Swiss Forward Kim Dubs

Student Life

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

The lab uses a combination of human genomics, computational biology, and functional studies, using Drosophila and human cell lines, to understand the risks caused by genetic mutations and to grasp how gene disruption leads to altered neurodevelopment.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Pennharmonics To Hold 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Heinz Field Sold Out For Pitt-Penn State

The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, September 8.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Madden NFL 19 Ratings For Nittany Lions

For the second consecutive year, Sean Lee is the highest-rated Nittany Lion in the Madden video game.

Send this to a friend