Trustees approve building improvements

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. – The University Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning recommended approval on final plans for two renovation projects, totaling $29.5 million, and to move a handful of other plans forward at today’s (July 10) meeting. The full board will vote on the recommendations on Friday.

The committee recommended approval for the proposed final plans and expenditure of $15.3 million for renovations at the Luerssen Building at Penn State Berks.

Built in 1972, the building houses classrooms, faculty offices, chemistry labs, a computer center, animal science lab, biology labs and occupational therapy labs. The building’s mechanical systems, original laboratory benches and related equipment need to be replaced. The University intends to reorganize laboratory and classroom spaces in the middle of the building with offices to remain in the smaller wings. The plan also includes building system upgrades, such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The committee also recommended for approval the proposed final plans and expenditure of $14.25 million for Phase II of renovations to the University-owned building at 300 N. Science Park Road in Ferguson Township, near the University Park campus. 

In July 2013, the University purchased the 8.54-acre property that includes a 108,000-square-foot, four-level office building and a 415-space paved parking lot. The top floor of the building was renovated, and in January 2014 Information Technology Services staff and consultants began working there on LionPATH, the replacement for Penn State’s Integrated Student Information System. 

The remaining floors will be renovated with building system upgrades, layout

configuration changes, new finishes, cubicle fit-outs and furniture. Information Technology Services staff currently dispersed throughout the University will work on these floors.

After completion of the LionPATH project, projected for late 2016, the vacated space on the upper floor will be used to host staff for other enterprise projects, such as the upcoming Business Information System replacement.

Also today, the Subcommittee on Architect/Engineer Selection made recommendations for the design of the following projects:

-- Turner Construction of Philadelphia for a residence hall at Penn State Abington. Turner Construction will retain SMP Architects of Philadelphia to design the project. A 400-bed, apartment-style residence hall is planned for a University-owned parcel of land about a half-mile from campus. Each unit will include a kitchen and room for four to eight students. There will be one bathroom for every four students.

-- A joint venture of Barton Malow of Baltimore, and EDiS of Malvern, Pa., for a residence hall at Penn State Brandywine. The 250-bed residence hall will be built near the campus’ Vairo Library. It will feature two-person rooms with shared private bathrooms.

-- Stantec Inc. of Philadelphia for a Student Union Building at Penn State Brandywine. The 30,000-square-foot student union will include space for dining services, meeting rooms, a bookstore, recreation, a wellness center, lounge areas and Student Affairs. It will be situated near the planned residence hall.

The projects are intended to make the campuses competitive in the southeastern Pennsylvania market.

Last Updated July 14, 2014