College breaks ground on Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center

April 30, 2009

Erie, Pa. — Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, officially broke ground on Tuesday, April 28, for the Robert and Sally Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center.

The $4.7 million two-story Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center will consolidate several services for prospective students, current students and alumni. The 11,700-square-foot building will house the offices of five key departments — admissions, financial aid, alumni relations, bursar and registrar -—- in one central location. Each department will have space within the facility to accommodate the varying needs of those served. The new center is expected to open in fall 2010.

"Penn State gave me a priceless education and, specifically, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, turned my life around," said Robert Metzgar, president of Warren-based North Penn Pipe and Supply, Inc. "The college's continued success is our dividend."

The Metzgars wanted the center, which will be situated near the northeast corner of the Reed Union Building parking lot, to be "an asset both physically and symbolically -- serving as the quintessential front door to campus as it welcomes future and current students plus alumni, families and friends."

While the groundbreaking ceremony was moved to the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel due to the weather, Penn State Behrend maintained a 25-year tradition -- the same shovel has been used for groundbreakings since 1984.

"Our ceremonial shovel has turned the earth to mark the beginnings of the Hammermill and Zurn Buildings, the student apartments, the Irvin Kochel Academic Center and John M. Lilley Library, the Science complex, Almy Hall, Ohio Hall, the Junker Center, the Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel, Senat Hall and, most recently, the Research and Economic Development Center," Chancellor Jack Burke said.

"Today, we honor tradition again. Bob and Sally will break ground for the Metzgar Center using our ceremonial shovel, and another plaque will be added to the shovel's handle to record this important occasion in the college's history," he continued.

Event speakers included Burke, Metzgar, James Broadhurst, chairman of Penn State's Board of Trustees, Kurt Buseck, chairman of the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows, and Diane Detar, a junior marketing major from Oil City, Pa., and recipient of the Robert and Sally Nelson Metzgar Leadership Scholarship.

Herman Weber, design principal and founder of Weber Murphy Fox and project architect, as well as Jack Doyle, chairman of Perry Construction Group of Erie, general contractor for the project, were also in attendance.

For more information about the Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center, visit and online.


  • Architect's rendering of the Metzgar Admissions and Alumni Center

    IMAGE: Weber Murphy Fox

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010