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Penn State Plans Next Phase Of East Halls Renovations

Penn State’s Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning on Thursday recommended approval of final plans for an $82.5 million renovation of three East Halls residence buildings, the next phase in a multi-year project to overhaul the university’s largest residential complex.

Bigler, Curtin, and Packer halls will undergo renovations as part of phase 2B of the East Halls initiative. The full Board of Trustees will vote on the project at its meeting on Friday.

As with previous renovations in the project, each of the residence halls will receive new, efficient building systems and will be connected to the campus chilled water system to allow for climate-controlled rooms. Social spaces will be updated and shared private bathrooms will be added on each floor.

The project also includes improvements to building appearances and ADA accessibility, as well as landscaping, and minor parking changes.

Most rooms will remain double occupancy and after renovations, the total combined bed count of the three buildings will be 782 — a decrease of three. 

Funding for the project will come from Housing and Food Services reserves and self-supported borrowing. Clayco Inc., of St. Louis, is the design-build firm for the work.

The overall East Halls project began in 2016 in an effort to modernize the complex, which was built in the 1960s and consists of 16 residence halls. It will ultimately increase the residential capacity while creating more contemporary living, social, and dining spaces.

Phase 1A involved construction of the new Earle Hall, which opened in 2017. Phase 1B included renovations to Pennypacker, McKean, and Stuart halls, which were offline for one year and reopened in fall 2018. Phase 1C renovated Brumbaugh, Pinchot, and Tener halls, which reopened in fall 2019.

Work is currently ongoing for Phase 2A: renovations to Geary and Sproul halls. Those are expected to reopen this coming fall.

The East Halls project is expected to be completed by 2022. The complex houses about 4,000 students.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (StateCollege.com)

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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