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Board of Trustees Capital Committee Approves Several Penn State Projects

by on January 16, 2014 12:39 PM

Penn State's Board of Trustees finance, business and capital planning committee approved various campus development projects Thursday morning.

The committee approved the second phase of an expansion at the Intramural Building. The second phase will include a new gymnasium and running track and repurposing the existing court into a multi-purpose court. The locker rooms will also be renovated. Ford Stryker, associate vice president with the Office of Physical Plant, says the majority of the $53 million project will be funded through student fees.

The university is also in the process of restoring the lake at Stone Valley Recreation Area. The cost of the project increased from $4.1 million to $5.5 million, prompting board approval, Stryker says. Part of the increase is due to higher than expected bids and more materials than anticipated.

Lake Perez, Penn State's 72-acre recreational lake at Stone Valley, is still expected to reopen later this year. Penn State drained the popular lake in Barree Township, Huntingdon County after the discovery of a leak in its dam.

The architecture firm Stantec was appointed for the Baker Building project, where extensive renovations are planned, including replacement of the HCAV systems, updating restrooms to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and roof maintenance.

The university received roughly 40 responses for the project and interviewed three before selecting Stantec, according to Stryke.

The committee also approved final plans for renovations at the Mueller Building, which is where the biology department is housed. The seven-story building was constructed in 1965 and has "inadequate" accommodations for students, Stryker says. The $20 million project will include new labs for students and faculty.

Renovations will occur at the Burrowes Building adjacent to Pattee Library starting in February. The renovations will be primarily interior. The project also includes demolition of the connections between the main building and two wings to improve pedestrian access. The new connections will be mostly glass, changing the building's facade.

The committee approved all items with a voice vote. The items will go before the full board Friday for approval.

The committee also reviewed the Class of 2013 gift to the university, which is a polished, stainless steel sculpture of the phrase, "We Are." The sculpture is similar to the Love sculpture in Philadelphia.

Penn State graduate Jonathan Cramer of Brooklyn, N.Y. created the piece. It will be bolted into a concrete foundation at the intersection of Curtain Road and University Drive. The sculpture is expected to be a background for photo opportunities among students and visitors.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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