UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s Board of Trustees Friday (May 4) approved the appointment of BLT Architects of Philadelphia, Pa., as architects for the renovation of Burrowes Building in the historic core of the University Park campus.
The original 50,000-square-foot structure was built in 1940 and designed by Charles Klauder, the architect responsible for many of the early and memorable buildings in Penn State’s core campus. It was expanded with north and south additions in the 1960s. Burrowes Building is located on the Pattee Mall between Curtin and Pollock roads and primarily houses programs for the College of the Liberal Arts.
The initial assignments for the Burrowes Building architectural team will be to design the renovations to a schematic level, develop a phasing scheme for the entire project and prepare cost estimates for each phase. Detailed designs will be developed for the project phases as funding for design and construction of each phase is identified. While the building itself has been well-maintained and appears sound, its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are outdated or non-existent. The electrical system has reached its maximum capacity, allowing for only a limited number of air-conditioning units that are incapable of maintaining a comfortable working and learning environment in the summer. The building’s antiquated heating system and its original single-pane windows, many of which cannot be completely closed, likewise make winter months uncomfortable.
BLT Architects will design the renovation of Burrowes Building while preserving the architectural integrity of the structure. Their design will address the replacement of windows and exterior doors and implementation of interior architectural reconfigurations, particularly in the 1960s additions, to increase the number of offices and improve accessibility.
The building’s systems will eventually be replaced and its utility infrastructure will be upgraded to connect the building to the campus chilled-water system and to provide additional electrical capacity. In keeping with the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the facility will be expected to attain LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
BLT Architects has proven expertise in the phased renovation of historically significant buildings. All phases will be presented for approval when construction funding becomes available.