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Summertime at Penn State Means It's Time to Make Campus Upgrades

Wed May 10, 2023 - Northeast Edition #11
Penn State Office of Physical Plant & University Libraries


Summer 2023 construction impacting Pattee Library and Paterno Library’s East Entrance will close the entrance off Curtin Road beginning Monday, May 8. The major maintenance project will replace the sidewalk, plaza and entrance doors; improve drainage and landscaping; and fix subsurface leaks into the library basement. It also will relocate the
Summer 2023 construction impacting Pattee Library and Paterno Library’s East Entrance will close the entrance off Curtin Road beginning Monday, May 8. The major maintenance project will replace the sidewalk, plaza and entrance doors; improve drainage and landscaping; and fix subsurface leaks into the library basement. It also will relocate the "Stacks" sculpture and donor tiles to a more central focal point. (Rendering provided by the Office of Physical Plant. All Rights Reserved.)

With spring commencement ceremonies now complete, Penn State's Office of Physical Plant (OPP) will initiate a variety of construction and renovation efforts at the University Park campus during the summer months, the school announced May 8.

As part of Penn State's 2023 summer project list, one of its major maintenance projects began on the east entrance of Pattee Library and Paterno Library.

A temporary, summer-long closure of the library entrance plaza, the Curtin Road drop-off parking spaces and the underpass stairwell will enable crews to remediate issues affecting Paterno Library's below-ground workspaces and weather-related deterioration of existing hardscape, masonry, entry doors and underpass stairs.

The work is designed to fix sidewalks and stormwater drainage, relocate donor pavers and "Stacks," the large-scale sculpture created by Peter Calaboyias, to the center of the entrance plaza, and crews will further improve the plaza's aesthetics with additional landscaping. Penn State noted that a longstanding issue with leaks into the library basement space directly below the plaza also will be fixed.

The project is scheduled for completion prior to the start of fall 2023 classes.

The two south-facing entrances to Pattee Library and Paterno Library will remain open to the public during the project's duration. One is atop a set of stairs facing the Pattee Mall and the other is a handicapped-accessible entrance at the ground floor level of West Pattee Library adjacent to the northern end of Fraser Road.

Large, Small Projects Planned All Across Campus

In addition to the rehabilitation of the library plaza, Penn State's OPP is overseeing the work on upgrading many smaller parking, paving and roadway projects around the sprawling campus:

  • Seven parking lots will receive mill and overlay maintenance this summer. They include Commuter Wiley Lab, Commuter Animal Diagnostic Lab (East), Fleet Lot, Porter South, Lot 81 Beaver Hall, Brown B Pond and Red A Research 1. An additional 41 parking lots will receive crack seal and seal coating treatments.
  • Mill and overlay work also will take place on three Penn State roads during the season, including a portion of Big Hollow Road, Bigler Road Minor Road 3 (nearest East Area Locker Room) and Fraser Road.
  • The Red K (ARL) parking lot will undergo pavement restorations and lighting upgrades.
  • An entrance relocation will take place at the Water Reclamation facility off University Drive.
  • The Elliott Building's parking deck will be closed for rehabilitation work.
  • Masonry work is scheduled to happen at the Eisenhower Parking Deck.

Sidewalks and landscape work is getting under way at several more sites, including:

  • Major lighting upgrades along sections of Porter, Curtin, Bigler, Pollock and Shortlidge roads, as well as College Avenue, causing intermittent sidewalk closures.
  • New sidewalk and lighting upgrades will be installed along Commuter Drive, between Dauer Drive and Curtin Road.
  • Beaver Stadium, home of the Nittany Lions football squad, is due to get a new plaza adorned with wall plaques, on the side facing Curtin Road.
  • The south patio of the Willard Building will undergo sewer renovations, a sidewalk replacement and lighting improvements.

A host of building renovations also are planned at Penn State this summer:

  • The HUB-Robeson Center will undergo a variety of upgrades, including the replacement of the stair treads in the grand stairwell, a remodel and expansion of its Starbucks, a new site for Cow & Cookie, a relocation of Barney's and improvements to the auditorium.
  • The windows in Deike Building will be replaced.
  • The north wing and greenhouses of the Forest Resources Lab will be demolished, with renovations to the facility's south wing.
  • The slate roof on Irvin Hall is set to be replaced.
  • Both the Wagner and Shields buildings will undergo roof replacements, in addition to full perimeter masonry repairs.
  • Comprehensive masonry work also is slated to take place at numerous other Penn State facilities this summer, including Huck Life Sciences, Electrical Engineering West and the Hintz Family Alumni Center.

New construction and major renovation are scheduled to be performed over the summer break:

  • The new Palmer Museum of Art is nearing its anticipated construction completion late in the season, with an official opening set to take place in 2024 after its art has been relocated and installed within the gallery.
  • Work continues on the new Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building, which is anticipated to be completed in late 2024.
  • Penn State's College of Engineering Research and Teaching Space 1 (West 1) also is under construction. The 290,000-sq.-ft. facility, along with the recently opened Engineering Design and Innovation Building, will transform the university's West Campus, according to university officials.
  • Crews are making progress on the Penn State Field Hockey Complex to include new team and media accommodations, and fan amenities.
  • A major renovation and addition to the school's Garfield Thomas Water Tunnel also continues.
  • The university has plans to soon begin building a new facility for environmental and hazardous waste collection.
  • Finally, Phase 2B of Penn State's East Hall renovations, including work at Bigler, Curtin and Packer, is nearing completion, with Phase 2C (encompassing Hastings, Snyder and Stone halls) due to break ground in the coming weeks.



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