Moving an eight-ton icon

As the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus continues to transition to its new location in Center Valley, great care has been taken to ensure that some important aspects of the Fogelsville campus will not be lost in the move. Among the files, furniture, and books in line for transport are two rather large rocks that, at a combined weight of eight tons, make up the Lehigh Valley campus's Nittany Lion Shrine. However, moving this campus treasure will take a lot more than cardboard boxes and packing tape.

At roughly 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, with the help of Dan Puchyr, Penn State Lehigh Valley alumnus and president of Bracy Contracting, the lion will make its way from the top of Mohr Lane in Fogelsville its new home in front of the campus' new location in Center Valley. It will travel aboard a 20-foot stake body truck along Route 78. Bracy Contracting is donating the equipment and labor to ensure this monumental task goes off without a hitch.

"I am pleased that my profession is allowing me to have a role in this symbolic move of the campus," said Puchyr, who began his college education at Penn State Lehigh Valley's former campus (then Penn State Allentown) on Ridge Avenue. "I have always enjoyed my involvement with Penn State Lehigh Valley and believe that what I learned here helped me get started in my professional life. It seems that if you travel on a path long enough, you come full circle and wind up where you started."

"Special thanks must also be given to Karen Hines and Jeff Houser of Zellner Welding, Inc., for their expertise and equipment, and to Jim Casilio of Casilio Concrete for furnishing the concrete," he said.

For many in the Penn State Lehigh Valley family, the arrival of the lion statue at the new campus will be a key moment in the continuing history of the campus. Students, alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as other community members plan to gather at the Center Valley location on the morning of Aug. 13 the lion to its new home.

"The campus community has been working so hard to make our new facility ready for the students this fall, and it has been no small task," said Ann Williams, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley. "In a way, having our Nittany Lion Shrine here really makes it official. We are so grateful to Dan and Bracy Contracting, and everyone else whose time and talents have made this possible."

One of the most recognizable symbols of Penn State is the Nittany Lion Shrine. The original shrine, located in a wooded clearing on the University Park campus, was dedicated by the class of 1940 and designed by sculptor Heinz Warneke. In 2001, Penn State Lehigh Valley welcomed its own shrine. The Lehigh Valley Nittany Lion was one of the final castings of a 70 percent scale replica of the University Park Nittany Lion, and it sits upon a six-ton rock quarried from Mount Nittany. A welcoming symbol of Penn State, the shrine is a gathering place for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community and provides a backdrop for graduation pictures and numerous student activities.

THE DETAILS:

WHAT: Penn State Lehigh Valley's two-ton Nittany Lion statue (the base weighs six tons -- a combined eight tons) will make the roughly 16-mile journey to its new home in Center Valley. The campus community will gather to mark the arrival of the lion and watch as Bracy Contracting places it on the site of the new Nittany Lion Shrine.

WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 13, Nittany Lion departs Fogelsville at approximately 10 a.m. Statue will arrive at the new campus in Center Valley at approximately 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Penn State Lehigh Valley, 2809 Saucon Valley Road, Center Valley, Pa.

HOW: Dan Puchyr, president of Bracy Contracting and a Penn State Lehigh Valley alumnus, is donating the equipment and labor for this monumental task.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010