Renovations scheduled for Schwab Auditorium on University Park campus

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s Board of Trustees on today (May 3) reviewed planned renovations for portions of Schwab Auditorium on the University Park campus. This popular venue, built in 1902, hosts many professional performances and student-focused activities. The building will be closed all summer during the renovation work and will not be available for this year’s Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, scheduled for July 11-14.

The Schwab project scope includes security and hardware upgrades, minor access enhancements, removal of the organ, which is not functional, a new podium and screen replacement and upgraded finishes in three second-floor offices. A fourth office will be refurbished for use as a conference room for student activity scheduling. Student Affairs also will house staff in the second floor office space. Some plaster and roof repairs also will be completed. The cost estimate for this project is $1.4 million. The renovation work is scheduled to begin in May 2013 and will be completed in August 2013.

Following completion of the improvements, Schwab Auditorium will be open for many more events such as student club activities and performances, academic meetings, special class assemblies, speakers and other large assembly type events beginning this Fall Semester 2013. The Center for the Performing Arts (CPA) will still maintain priority scheduling for its annual performances and, once these are scheduled, Schwab Auditorium will be scheduled by the Union and Student Activities (USA). 

Schwab Auditorium was the first Penn State building financed by a private gift. Bethlehem Steel Corp. founder Charles M. Schwab, a University trustee for 30 years, gave $150,000 to build the classic revival auditorium. Completed in 1903, Schwab houses a proscenium stage and a 900-seat, Renaissance-style seating area. The heavily used auditorium was last renovated in the summer of 1999. New carpeting, drapery and seats were installed, and the interior walls were painted. Today the building is used as one of several campus performance venues and holds large overview classes during the fall and spring semesters.

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Last Updated May 03, 2013