Shaver’s Creek set for major upgrades as Board of Trustees approves final plans

February 24, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s outdoor education field lab and nature center is set to undergo major construction following approval today (Feb. 24) by the Penn State Board of Trustees for an expansion project at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center that will be the first major facility upgrade in its 41-year history.

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center in Petersburg, Huntingdon County, will be the focus of a nearly $6 million expansion and renovation. Major construction is scheduled to begin in late March and will take approximately 10 months. Conshohocken-based Kimmel Bogrette was selected as the project’s architect.

The upgrades are projected to cost $5.8 million and will be funded through a combination of philanthropy and support from Penn State Outreach and Online Education. The improvements will help serve the more than 60,000 people who benefit from the outdoor activities provided by Shaver’s Creek each year.

"We are extremely excited to begin this renovation and building project that will allow our staff, our current students and all the future keepers of the Earth to continue to call this place ‘their nature center’ for generations to come," said Shaver’s Creek Director Mark McLaughlin.

Shaver’s Creek upgrades will include:

  • Two additional classrooms with the flexibility to open into one larger classroom for more than 100 people;
  • Enhanced visitor experience with main building renovation, including upgrades to the Discovery Room and bookstore;
  • Administrative/staff office space addition for 25 full-time employees, interns, volunteers and graduate assistants;
  • Improved ADA accessibility, HVAC systems and electrical service; and
  • Renovations to the raptor center and upper classroom (second phase).

Select activities and limited programming may operate at the center through construction, and the trails at Stone Valley Forest will remain open. Any potential visitors are asked to check or call 814-863-2000 for the most up-to-date information.

Summer camps will be held offsite in 2017 at the Penn State Ag Research Farm and Museum. Registrations are still being accepted for the four-day camps, and information is available at the Shaver’s Creek website. Registration is full for the five-day camps.

Shaver’s Creek will also continue to offer Penn State courses at the University Park campus, its traveling naturalist programs around the state and teambuilding programs offsite. The Fall Harvest and Maple Harvest festivals will not be held while the center is closed.

The center’s main building was built in 1938 and was used by Penn State’s School of Forestry for group functions and warm-weather instruction. Shaver’s Creek has called the building home since 1976, and the center now boasts more than 35 credit-bearing courses in six colleges and nine departments, and accommodates more than 1,400 Penn State students, 50,000 non-credit program attendees and nearly 9,000 visitors during the year.

Visit the Shaver's Creek website for more information about the construction project or how to contribute.


Last Updated February 24, 2017