Penn State Erie building renovations part of student-centered approach

Hershey, Pa. — As part of its mission, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, is committed to providing a high-quality student-centered environment. Today (March 20), the University Board of Trustees was updated on the status of a two-story renovation and new construction project that will improve Penn State Behrend's student union, the Reed Union Building.

Weber Murphy Fox architects planned and designed the $1.8 million project. Weber Murphy Fox also led the design of Penn State Behrend's Research and Economic Development Center.

The phased renovation and construction project includes revamping the existing 7,500-square-foot bookstore to improve merchandising and its visual appeal. The new additions will include a separate pick-up window for students who place textbook orders online to better accommodate the high traffic experienced at the beginning of a semester, as well as separate customer service and book information stations. The bookstore also will feature new display windows facing the Reed parking lot —currently an exterior brick wall — along with appropriate fixtures to improve how the store's clothing, gifts and supplies are exhibited. The bookstore, which first opened in 1988, will continue to be operated by Barnes and Noble.

The bookstore project's new construction phase is two-fold. It will include a two-story exterior addition that will house a new delivery loading dock — making building deliveries more efficient and less obtrusive to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic — as well as a newly constructed interior second floor, which will be achieved by decking the current bookstore's two-story space.

The new 5,000-square-foot second floor will house Penn State Behrend's Center for Career and Academic Advising. The center's suite will include 11 offices, three standard interview rooms and a video interview room since Penn State Behrend students increasingly are being interviewed by companies recruiting at the University Park campus. In addition, a new conference room will be located at the front of the suite and available for campus use.

"The bookstore project is the first step in transforming Reed into the modern, multi-use student facility of today," Ken Miller, director of Student Affairs, said. "The bookstore renovation and second-floor construction translates into a substantial improvement in services for students and staff alike."

The bookstore renovation and construction is expected to be completed by the end of July while the new Center for Career and Academic Advising is expected to open after the start of the fall 2009 semester.
 

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Last Updated March 20, 2009