Summer construction projects improve campus

June 04, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Extensive road improvement work and a number of important construction projects are under way on Penn State's University Park campus. This overview highlights the projects that are having or will have the biggest impact on commuters and pedestrians.

McKean Road project

McKean Road will be closed all summer in both directions from Shortlidge Road to East View Terrace. The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) will be installing central campus chilled water for South Halls and replacing steam tunnel tops/sidewalks. During construction a detour will be provided north on Shortlidge Road , east on Pollock Road and down Mifflin Road. The rebuilt roadway also will provide raised crosswalks for pedestrian safety and new lighting.

Burrowes Road Project

This project will replace damaged sidewalks along the west side of Burrowes Road from Curtin Road to Pollock Road. OPP also will install new roadway and pedestrian lighting, benches, bike racks, litter receptacles, and new post and chain fencing. There will be intermittent lane closings, but the roadway will remain open during construction. Additional isolated concrete sidewalk and pad work will be done along the east side of Burrowes Road in the same area. The majority of the work will be completed before the Arts Festival. The entire project will be completed by mid-August in time for student return.

Hintz Alumni Center courtyard project

OPP will install engraved pavers in a new courtyard between the Hintz Alumni Center and the Engineering Units. There will be opportunities for alumni to purchase commemorative pavers during the project.

Arboretum Children's Garden and boardwalk

The Arboretum boardwalk will create a pedestrian way from Park Avenue to the Arboretum. The Children’s Garden will provide a significant outreach experience for youngsters visiting the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. It will have a calming water feature at the entrance and is being funded by gifts. The boardwalk is to be completed by October and the Garden by December.

Schreyer Courtyard Project

This project will develop an engraved courtyard with seating at Atherton Hall to honor Mr. Schreyer. It is expected to be completed by Aug. 20.

Old Main sidewalks

This work will replace deteriorated sidewalks between Old Main and the Henderson Mall. A new waterline will be installed near the west side of McAlister Building to the rear parking lot of Old Main. New handrails on the steps will be provided at selected locations. The north section will be completed before Arts Festival and the south walkways afterwards. All work will be completed before student return in August.

Veteran's plaza and memorial

This memorial is a gift of the class of 2011. It will include a Penn State Veterans Plaza and memorial wall recognizing Lt. Michael P. Murphy, the first and only Penn State Alumnus to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. It will be located just south of Pollock Rd. near Chandlee Lab and should be completed by August.

South Halls renovations

This is the first major renovation to South Halls since the original construction in 1957. Currently housing more than 1,000 students, the work will address structural concerns and failing heat systems. Renovations will feature social networking spaces for 32 sororities, air conditioning, a net gain of 144 beds, and improved pedestrian access to College Avenue. The project will include construction of an entirely new residence hall and minor renovations of Redifer Commons. This phased project is scheduled for completion at the end of December, 2014.

Moore Building renovation

The existing six-story building will be improved with a total replacement of the HVAC utilities and telecommunications systems. The project will include replacement of doors and windows, and the installation of building-wide sprinkler system. Completion is planned for Aug. 13, 2013.

Cedar Building renovation

The renovation of this three-story building built in 1971 is very similar to the Moore Building renovation mentioned above. It is to be completed by mid-May of 2013.

Eva J. Pell Laboratory for Advanced Biological Research

This will be a new 20,300-square-foot, level three bio-safety research laboratory located near the existing Animal Diagnostic lab. The highly technical facility will be located between the Ag Arena and the Route 322 bypass and is expected to be completed in March of 2013.

Pegula Ice Arena

Site excavation and construction of the 200,000-square-foot Pegula Ice Arena is on schedule. The multipurpose facility will be the new home of Penn State’s NCAA Division One men’s and women’s hockey programs will include 6,000 spectator seats coupled with state of the art accommodations. The arena also will be an invaluable year-round recreational and educational asset for members of the entire University community and serve children and families throughout central Pennsylvania. Completion is scheduled for late October, 2013. More than 100,000 cubic yards of excavated material have been trucked to a clean fill site east of the Ag Arena on Park Avenue. This clean fill has restored the meadow area to its original topography and will provide improved football parking.

Biobehavioral Health Building

This is a new, four story, 93,500-square-foot building for the College of Health and Human Development. It is located at the south end of the HUB lawn and will include a 200-seat lecture hall on the ground floor and a terrace expansion for the HUB. The HUB component will be completed in time for student return this summer, and the building itself is to be completed in late 2012.

East campus steam line

A new 5,000-foot steam line will increase steam capacity from the East Campus Steam Plant to central campus and the Millenium Science Complex. Work began last summer and will be completed by December.

Curtin Road chilled water

This project will provide chilled water to the Pegula Ice Arena, the Intramural Building and the Natatorium. Access to parking lots will mainly be open from University Drive. The piping will extend under Curtin Road from Bigler Road to University Drive and will be completed by Aug. 20.

Other renovations

OPP will be running summer masonry repairs at Carnegie Building, Davey Lab, Rider Building, Greenburg Building (the existing ice arena), Palmer Museum of Art and Electrical Engineering West. Roofing work will be under way at McElwain Hall, Henderson Building, North Wagner Building, McCoy Natatorium, and the Breazeale Reactor. In addition, there will be several dozen renovation projects, including 50 technology renovations, to general purpose classrooms.

For up-to-date construction information, refer to the Construction Project Map at:


  • The Pegula Ice Arena construction site is one of several building and repair projects taking place on campus this summer.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 12, 2012