Trustees approve plans, contracts for HUB-Robeson Center addition, renovation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State trustees on May 3 approved final plans prepared by GUND Partnership of Cambridge, Mass., and authorized the University to award contracts for an addition and renovation to the University Park campus student union, known as the HUB-Robeson Center.

The Hetzel Union Building (HUB) is the center of student activity at the University Park campus and is situated in the core of campus near the intersection of Pollock and Shortlidge roads. Since 1998, when the HUB's last expansion was designed — a move that incorporated a permanent facility for the Paul Robeson Cultural Center — daily traffic in the facility has increased significantly. This increase has made it necessary to again expand the facility.

The project, totaling approximately 54,800 square feet of additional space and 52,000 square feet of renovated space, will expand and enhance a variety of student-related activity and service spaces, such as additional informal gathering areas and multipurpose rooms, as well as better-organized retail operations and other service areas.


Before the design phase of the project, Mary Edgington, senior director of Union and Student Activities, canvassed several student organizations for input into what space needs students have at the HUB-Robeson Center. Topping students' requests were seating, programming space and multipurpose space. "The HUB expansion will provide much-needed space for student programming needs, student organizations and individual students," she explained. "Additional seating will be added, and flexible programming space."

A new mezzanine in the Penn State Bookstore and a green roof above it will include space for seating, and a two-story, multipurpose flex theater will be added near the HUB parking deck entrance. In advance of Penn State Bookstore renovations, the store will be relocated into temporary units on the HUB Lawn from June 2013 to July 2014.

A THON retail store and a more prominent location for student leadership and activities also will be created, and existing infrastructure systems will be modernized. The project also will enhance the accessibility and architecture of the building from the east and HUB Lawn sides.

Trustees approved construction of the project at a cost of $44.6 million. The project will be paid for primarily from student facilities fees, HUB reserves, Food Services funds and bookstore reserves.


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Last Updated April 19, 2017