Trustees OK revised capital plan assessment to save money, expedite construction

May 05, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – To expedite the East and Pollock Halls renovation on the University Park campus, which is a major project in the Housing and Food Services Capital Plan, a revised multi-year Capital Assessment was proposed and approved by the Board of Trustees on May 6. As a result, the annual capital assessment amount for fiscal years 2018–2023 will be adjusted to provide the necessary financial support for the accelerated renovation plan.

The initial plan called for building two new halls, one in North and one in East, and renovating 14 buildings in the East Halls complex and nine in Pollock Halls complex. To maintain occupant capacity and current revenue, only two buildings were to be taken offline per year. This allowed for the completion of the entire East and Pollock Halls renovation project in 12 years at a cost of $734 million.

The accelerated plan calls for the construction of three new residence halls in the first two years, with two of those buildings being in East, and the renovation of two or three buildings per year depending on the phasing of construction. This would result in completion of the project three years faster than the current plan and at a lower cost of $717 million.  As a result of the compressed timeframe, the construction costs are more heavily frontloaded, which necessitates slight increases in the borrowing capacity and the capital assessment to provide the near-term funding.

The accelerated plan provides several advantages to the original plan. “This plan is less expensive by about $17 million, allows for the completion of the project in just nine years instead of 12 years and provides students access to new and renovated space sooner,” said Gail Hurley, associate vice president, Auxiliary and Business Services.

East Halls is currently the largest residential complex on the University Park campus and is home to 3,825 students – primarily first-year students. More than five decades have passed since East Halls was constructed, and more than 200,000 students have lived within those buildings in that time. There are currently 14 residence halls in East Halls and nine in Pollock Halls. Pollock housing area is the third largest housing area on campus and the second largest for housing first-year students.

Housing and Food Services is a self-supporting enterprise. Money paid by students and guests for food and lodging are the only funds used for all operating expenses, building loans and interest payments, as well as costs for major maintenance and facility renewal. No state or tuition funds are used for construction, maintenance of facilities or the operations of the housing and dining program.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 09, 2016