Board committee recommends plan for improved security at Penn State facilities

HERSHEY, Pa. — Penn State is taking the final steps to make three campus recreation facilities safer for visitors.

The board's Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning voted to recommend that the University's Board of Trustees approve spending of $7.5 million to improve security at the White Building, McCoy Natatorium and Recreation Building (Rec Hall), all on the University Park campus.

The board officially adopted Policy AD73, “Accessing Athletic and Recreational Facilities” in July 2012. The policy spells out that only people with a valid University identification (ID) card can use the recreational facilities on campus. Visitors with a valid ID can bring in one guest at a time, but are responsible for the actions of that guest while in the facility.

“First and foremost are the safety and security of our students, faculty and staff who use these facilities,” siad Stan Latta, director for campus recreation. “There will be controlled access to the facilities so the only way you can enter is to swipe your identification card, and there will be individuals working on site to verify that the person who is using the card is indeed the card owner.”

The facilities need some improvements in order to comply with the policy. The Office of Physical Plant designed physical turnstiles and space for staff at the entrances to the White Building, McCoy Natatorium and Rec Hall. Crews also will install elevators at McCoy Natatorium and the White Building so that people using wheelchairs will have access to the entirety of each building. 

“This is in keeping with what we have discovered is a best practice among our peer institutions and others across the country who are the same scope and size as Penn State,” said Mark Bodenschatz, associate director for athletic facilities. “Not only is this a safety precaution and a measure that ensures our students are able to use the facility, but it also greatly limits the potential for vandalism or misuse.”

Latta said the changes also will ensure that the students whose fees are paying for the support of these facilities are the ones who will benefit from them.

Last Updated February 25, 2016