Preview of summer construction at University Park

Alex Novak
May 19, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As many students leave University Park for the summer, Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant (OPP) enters another season of construction and renovation to improve the campus. OPP will be providing more detailed information about multiple summer projects over the coming months.

OPP, the Parking Office and project contractors will work to minimize disruption to the campus community, but the public should expect many temporary route changes and interruptions throughout the summer. An interactive construction map that identifies summer projects is available on the OPP website

There are projects already underway that will impact traffic in two locations on McKean Road:

-- Utility work at the South Chiller Plant will close the one-way portion of McKean Road from Mifflin Road to Bigler Road through early June.

-- Stormwater system upgrades will close McKean Road between Bigler Road and the Greenburg Building through July. There is a temporary entrance to Lot Orange C from Hastings Road. Access to East Area Locker Room, Holuba Hall and the Orange F parking lot will be via the access drive north of Nittany Apartments. The intersection of Bigler, Hastings and McKean roads will remain open throughout the summer.

Roadwork will continue on Big Hollow Road and Services Road through the end of July. Access to buildings in these areas will be maintained.

New buildings and major renovations

Three of University Park’s recreation facilities will undergo construction through the end of 2016. Rec Hall, White Building and McCoy Natatorium will all incorporate central access points to comply with AD73, the University’s policy on accessing athletic and recreational facilities. During construction, all buildings will remain open and temporary entrances will be established as follows:

-- Rec Hall can be accessed from Curtin Road at the main gymnasium.

-- White Building can be accessed from the HUB Parking Deck side. Signage will direct building users to the lower level for gaining access to the south portion of the building. During construction, the area will be fenced off between Shortlidge Road and the HUB lawn.

-- Two entrances will be available for McCoy Natatorium, one from Bigler Road and an ADA entrance near the outdoor pool.

Ongoing renovations and construction will continue through the summer across University Park, including on the West Campus Steam Plant, Whitmore Lab and Lasch Building. Construction will continue on the Data Center and Water Treatment Plant. The Steidle Building renovation will be substantially complete in early June.

The renovation of the Ritenour East Wing will create the Collaborative Learning Center — a student-focused facility that supports interaction and enhances the educational experience.

Construction of the third and final phase of the expansion of the Intramural (IM) Building began in May and will be completed in August 2017.

Construction of a new residence hall in East Halls began in March and will continue into next summer. Renovations of Findlay Commons will continue through December.

The Morgan Academic Center will be moving into the Greenberg Building in June. One of its current locations in the Bank of America Career Services Center will be renovated throughout the summer for additional Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) counselors to return to core campus for the fall semester.

Construction began on a new residence hall within North Halls in March, and will continue into next summer. 

The Agricultural Engineering Building will soon undergo a major renovation. Utility work associated with this project, will close Shortlidge Road for approximately two weeks starting in mid-June between Park Avenue and Curtin Road. Renovations will begin on the historical portion of the building in mid-August, and the remainder of the building will be rebuilt. The project is anticipated to be completed in early 2018.

Replacement of the water tower in this same area of campus will continue throughout this summer.


Additional Projects

All parking decks will install a new parking access control system that will display the number of spaces available and establish a 24/7 communications system for visitors. The HUB, Elliott and Rider parking decks will all undergo repairs and proactive maintenance.

Holuba Hall will receive a turf replacement, the Bryce Jordan Center will receive lighting upgrades and the outdoor track will be replaced.

Sidewalk closures for repairs and utility work are planned for various locations across campus, including Burrowes Road, near the Nittany Lion Shrine, the IST ramps and between Whitmore and Pond labs.

There will be numerous minor renovation projects, including Hammond Lab, Nittany Apartments and Panda Express in the HUB. 

Many departmental classrooms will be converted into general-purpose classrooms with technology improvements and new furniture upgrades. General-purpose classrooms in Willard, Althouse and Chambers buildings will undergo renovations. 

Multiple energy savings projects will take place across campus with mechanical and lighting upgrades. OPP will also continue upgrading building security by converting multiple buildings to card access.

Finally, OPP will replace 68,681 square feet of rubber roofing on buildings across University Park, including Thomas Building and Agricultural Sciences & Industries. That is equivalent to the entire sod replacement for Beaver Stadium (and its accompanying nursery). This project will also include installation of 4,200 linear feet of roof edging to improve fall protection and increase safety. That is equivalent to the perimeter of four football fields.

Construction updates and further details will be provided throughout the summer. Please be patient, follow detour signage and allow extra time to reach any campus destination this summer.

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Last Updated June 18, 2021