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Board Of Trustees Approves $48.3 Million Plans For Lasch Building Renovations

Penn State’s Board of Trustees met virtually Friday afternoon to approve planned renovations for the Lasch Football Building.

Following a heated discussion, the board passed a motion 27-6 to finalize $48.3 million plans to renovate and expand the Lasch Football Building, as recommended by the Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning Thursday afternoon.

The project includes plans to expand the first-floor weight room, upgrade strength and training equipment, upgrade mechanical and electrical systems, construct a lobby entrance, install a hydrotherapy pool, and develop a suite for Penn State’s “5th Quarterback Program.”

Former Penn State linebacker Brandon Short was the most vocal trustee about the importance of investment and referenced Joe Paterno’s “Grand Experiment.”

“I fully support this investment, and we need to invest much more,” Short said. “There’s no other place we can get a higher return on our investment than an investment in our football program. Our competitors are making massive investments in their football programs.”

Jay Paterno, son of the late Penn State football head coach, notably voted against the plans.

“I will be voting against the resolution for the Lasch Building,” Trustee Paterno said. “My former boss used to say, ‘Football is here to serve the university, not the other way around.'”

Paterno also stressed the fact that people all across the state have lost their jobs, can’t pay rent, and are standing at food banks. He questioned how the board can look at the people they’re asking to make sacrifices in the eye when they’re borrowing and spending money.

“We have students sleeping in the HUB at night. We have students who are hungry,” Paterno said. “We battle to make Penn State more affordable. We have a moral obligation to do that.”

Trustee Barbara Doran stressed that the football program drives much more than the athletic budget and that it will keep Penn State competitive.

The board also unanimously approved a proposal to sell a property at Penn State Mont Alto for $121,000, as recommended by the Committee on Finance, Business, and Capital Planning Thursday afternoon.

The property, 5 Willow St., sits on a half-acre and includes a two-story, 960-square-foot residence. It was purchased in December 2012 for potential expansion opportunities but is no longer needed.

The board unanimously approved of annual applications, renewals, and other filings required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for locations including the Bryce Jordan Center, Beaver Stadium, Pegula Ice Arena, and the Penn State Golf Courses.

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About the Author

Colleen Nersten

Colleen is a sophomore biology major from York, Pa and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected]

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