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Penn State’s $3.28 Billion Construction Plan Will Continue Rolling Out During The 2016-2017 School Year

Every August, students flood into University Park for the start of the new school year and typically, new construction projects come with them. This year, however, students and faculty may see even more cranes than usual.

Penn State is facing a few problems, including a growing student body and a campus that is steadily aging. Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant’s response is a five-year capital plan totaling $3.28 billion. Thanks, LionPATH. 

Some of the projects were completed this summer, while some are still in the works. According to OPP, here’s what’s been going on this year and what’s to come, from East Halls to the Lasch Building:

    • Thomas Building and Greenberg Renovations ($48 million): Major renovations were completed on the Thomas Building this summer in preparation for a new chemical and bioengineering building.
    • Morgan Academic Center ($7.2 million): All the functions of the Morgan Academic Center were centralized in one location within the Greenberg Building.
    • IM Building ($29.34 million): Construction on the IM Building is expected to be completed by August 2016. The renovations will add a 34,600 gross-square-foot addition to the building that will include an indoor turf field, a climbing wall, squash courts, as well as some some multi-purpose spaces.
    • BJC ($1.75 million): The lighting at the BJC is being replaced by more efficient LED lighting. The project is expected to be done by August 2016.
    • Lasch Building ($12 million): The locker rooms and equipment rooms were renovated this past summer.
    • Rec Hall Lorenzo Wrestling Complex ($1.11 million): The hydrotherapy areas are currently under construction at the Wrestling Complex. The updates will most likely be finished in November 2016.
    • Findlay Commons ($25.1 million): The dining hall is under construction and is expected to be completed in December 2016.
    • East Halls ($65.1 million): A new 310-bed residence hall will likely be completed by July 2017. Phase 1A involves the construction of a new building and upgrades to Stuart Hall, which will receive a 67,000 square foot renovation.
    • Ag Engineering Building ($44.5 million): Certain portions of the Ag Engineering Building are receiving renovations while other portions will are being completely reconstructed by December of 2018.
    • North Halls ($33.55 million): A new 310-bed residence hall will be built behind Holmes Hall most likely by July of 2017.
    • Parking Revenue Control System Upgrades ($1.9 million): All parking decks will install a new parking access control system that will display the number of spaces available and establish a 24/7 communications system for visitors. The HUB, Elliott, and Rider parking decks will all undergo repairs and proactive maintenance.
    • Rec Facility Access Modifications ($7.5 million): According to OPP, this project will provide a controlled single access point to portions of Rec Hall, the White Building, and the Natatorium. This will include the installation of staffed entry desks and turnstiles by December 2016.
    • Steidle Building ($52 million): The Steidle building got renovations and an addition. The project was completed in June 2016.
    • Data Center ($58 million): A new data center was built in August 2016 to support general and research computing needs for University Park and Penn State Hershey.
    • Water Treatment Plant ($62 million): A new facility is being built to provide high level filtration of the campus water system. The project also includes upgrades to the existing water distribution system, including towers and underground piping. It will likely be completed by November 2016.
    • West Campus Steam Plant ($48.3 million): Ongoing renovations are being made to the steam plant; they will be completed in July 2017.
    • Whitmore Lab ($31.7 million): Chemistry students rejoice! Renovations to the undergraduate Chemistry teaching labs on the first and second floors of the building will likely be completed in August 2016.
    • Ritenour Building ($6.51 million): The east end of Ritenour will be renovated — there will be a “student focused facility to enhance collaboration and consolidate academic advising offices” in October 2016.

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About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski

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