Routines to change during Obama visit; some building closures expected

February 01, 2011

University Park, Pa. -- A number of delays and road closing are anticipated Thursday, Feb. 3, in and around Penn State’s University Park campus as President Barack Obama visits to tour laboratories and give a talk on energy research and innovation in Rec Hall.

Some employees and students also may experience a few changes to their daily routines with building and sidewalk closures and potential pedestrian detours in various areas of campus for brief periods of time for security reasons. Some classes also may be affected.


Engineering A, B and C buildings as well as the Hintz Family Alumni Center and University House will be closed on Thursday until noon for security purposes. Human Resources representatives with employees in these buildings should contact the Office of Human Resources for policy guidance. Employees in those facilities should be hearing from supervisors regarding the day’s schedule.

The main gym of Rec Hall, where Obama will speak, is unavailable for use by any group from today through mid-afternoon Thursday. Other portions of Rec Hall are open for use today and Wednesday, but will be closed on Thursday, beginning in pre-dawn hours and lasting until the president departs some time after 1 p.m. These areas include not only the main gym, but also the Men’s Volleyball Offices, the facilities office, the Hospitality Room and all areas under the west stands, the laundry room, the equipment room, the academic support space, the Women’s General Locker Room, the South Gym and aerobics room. The running track is available until Thursday. More details on recreational class cancellations or restricted use of the building will be provided in the coming days.

Parking lot restrictions

Lot Red D at Rec Hall will be closed beginning at 5 p.m. today (Feb. 1) through Thursday Feb. 3.

Lot Red K at ARL, Lot Red J (Power plant), and the parking for Beta Theta Pi Fraternity will be restricted - no vehicles in or out from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Lot Red H at Noll Lab, and parking for the Sigma Nu and Alpha Zeta Fraternities also will be restricted - no vehicles in or out from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday. A small portion of Brown A lot behind Reber Building will be closed on Thursday until afternoon. The service drive that runs between Hammond and Reber Buildings and around the Engineering Units will be closed to all vehicles.
Approximately 100 spaces will be blocked off in Lot Red A off of North Atherton until 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3.

Brown A, Red J, Red K, Red H and Red D permits will be valid in Lot Red A off of North Atherton Street on Thursday.

The Nittany Deck near the Nittany Lion Inn (Green B) and Red A lot across North Atherton Street are expected to be impacted as some spaces will be used for event parking. Only Red A permits will be honored in the Red A lot, and only Green B permits will be honored in the Nittany Deck. Those who park in these areas will notice an increased demand for space. Green B permit holders are advised to allow extra time to enter the Nittany Deck. Those without Green B permits may not gain access. When the Nittany Deck fills additional parking will be available in the East Deck.

Bus and shuttle traffic

Additional information concerning bus and shuttle route modifications will follow later today, Tuesday Feb. 1.

Road impacts

For security reasons before and during Obama's visit, traffic restrictions will be in place on certain roads near the venue from 8 a.m. Thursday through the conclusion of the event.

The president's arrival at the University Park Airport will be a closed event, which means there will be no public access at the airport or along the motorcade route.

-- Fox Hill Road and Fox Hollow Road will be closed for a period of time in the late morning until the motorcade arrives at Rec Hall. This route also will be closed during the president's departure after noon.

-- Parking along Fox Hollow and Fox Hill roads will be prohibited all day. Pennsylvania State Police will tow any vehicles that stop or park along this route. Commuters should plan to use Bernel Road on Thursday instead of Rock Road or Filmore Road.

-- Ticketed airline passengers and people needing to pick up or drop off ticketed passengers will be permitted to enter the Airport Terminal. Cars will not be permitted to be parked or left unattended in front of the terminal. Police and Secret Service ask that people cooperate at all checkpoints.

-- As the president arrives on campus and as he exits, the motorcade route also will be closed and pedestrians and drivers in these areas should plan for slight delays.

-- Park Avenue, Atherton Street and College Avenue will all be closed for brief periods of time as the motorcade enters and exits campus.

-- On campus, Curtin Road between Allen Street and Atherton Street will be closed most of Thursday morning. Burrowes Road between College Avenue and Curtin Road will be closed from 11 a.m. until mid-afternoon.

-- From approximately noon until after the president departs, Curtin Road will be closed from Atherton Street to Allen Road.

-- Pollock Road will be open to through traffic from Shortlidge Road to Burrowes Road all day Thursday. Access to and from the Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, Lot Brown A, Lot Brown E, and Old Main will be via Pollock Road only from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

-- To avoid traffic congestion, anyone who does not need to be on campus on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 3, should avoid traveling on campus roadways.

-- More detailed information on traffic pattern changes, building closures and potential class changes will follow as they become available.

  • While workers were busy inside Rec Hall preparing the building for Thursday's visit by President Barack Obama, gating was set out in front of the building in a staging area, ready to be put into place for crowd control.

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 21, 2011