York campus community leaves its mark on student center construction project

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to be a part of the construction and renovation of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center by putting their mark on a steel beam that will be included in the new building. The beam-signing event took place Jan. 14 in the campus conference center during Spring Club Rush. The campus community will continue to have an opportunity to autograph the beam through Jan. 20. This special beam, painted white, will be permanently installed during a "topping off" ceremony tentatively set for Jan. 22 at noon.

David W. Chown, chancellor of Penn State York, welcomed the campus community to the ceremony and explained that although the beam would not be visible in the building once renovations have been completed, “It will be there as a sort of hidden time capsule,” he said.

Those in attendance grabbed different colored markers and signed the beam. Michelle Lin, a Penn State York freshman, signed her name in English and in Chinese. Jasmine Berry, a junior member of the women’s volleyball team, included her name, jersey number, a hand-drawn picture of a volleyball, and her intended graduation date. Others wrote the classic, “We are,” and still others simply wrote their names or memorialized a campus club or organization.

“It was really a great way to feel a part of the project,” said Berry.

To see more pictures of the beam signing, visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153737125715590.1073742065.88848090589&type=3.

The student center first opened in 1968 and is undergoing a $13.5 million renovation that includes an addition. The new facility is set to open for the fall 2016 semester and the project is on track, according to Holly Gumke, director of business services at the campus.

The more than 28,000-square-foot project includes much-needed kinesiology, intramural and athletic spaces in the form of a multi-activity court. The space will also allow for off-season athletic team practice for sports such as baseball, soccer and intramural activities, as well as badminton and ballroom dancing. In addition, a group fitness room, for classes such as yoga and spinning, will be included. The project will add about 14,000 square feet to the building, an increase of 38 percent in size.

In addition to the other upgrades to the existing building, the campus dining area also received a facelift, which has already been completed. The kitchen and food service area, formerly known as the Lion’s Den, will reopen in fall 2016 as Rosie’s, and the new coffee bar included in the renovated space will be called Cup O’ Joe, named after the late Joe and Rosie Ruhl, who were supporters of the campus and whose names appear on the building.

The new facility is set to open in time for fall classes in August.

Watch the progress on the student center project on the campus’ live cam at https://www.youtube.com/user/PennStateYork/live. 

Last Updated January 15, 2016