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Penn State Football Facility Renovations Halted Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Update, 6 p.m.: Work on a variety of renovations will resume in the coming days, associate athletics director for strategic communications Kris Petersen said. Currently, Penn State Athletics is working on developing an updated project timeline.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced construction projects initially deemed non-essential could resume work on May 1 before select state counties’ restrictions are eased. How Penn State’s renovations move forward in the coming weeks remains to be seen.

Original Story: Renovations to Penn State football’s facilities have been temporarily suspended due to challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, head coach James Franklin confirmed Wednesday.

In a virtual meeting with the media, Franklin provided attendees with an update on the planned renovations using the information currently at his disposal.

“Obviously when the construction got put on hold by the state, everything like that got put on hold,” Franklin said, referencing Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s orders to halt non-life-sustaining businesses statewide earlier this spring.

Franklin added that Penn State may fare better than other schools due to its ability to be self-sustaining when it comes to construction and resources. However, he realizes halting construction is the right thing to do in situations like these.

According to Penn State Athletics’ Facilities Master Plan, which was first announced in 2017, the university will undergo about 20 years’ worth of facility renovations. Facilities including Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center will be renovated in the future, while projects such as Penn State men’s and women’s lacrosse’s Panzer Stadium has already been completed.

Before the 2019 Cotton Bowl, Penn State vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour met with the media and announced renovations to Penn State football’s Lasch Building were about halfway completed. A multi-purpose practice facility is also in the works, which, upon completion, would leave Holuba Hall solely to Penn State football.

“We [have] people within the athletic department studying all these numbers and looking at all these different things and everything is under discussion and everything is under consideration,” Franklin said.

Other on-campus construction projects, such as the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications’ Willard Media Center, have also been suspended for the time being.

Administrators remain optimistic construction will begin in the coming weeks as Pennsylvania begins loosening social and workplace restrictions, which may allow contractors to return to work.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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