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Bryce Jordan Construction to be Completed by Penn State Summer Commencement

by on June 17, 2014 6:00 AM

Though the recent State College High School graduation ceremony had to be moved to the Pegula Ice Arena due to the Bryce Jordan Center construction, the project is on track to be finished by Penn State’s summer commencement on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Bernie Punt, the BJC director of sales and marketing, said in an email that the high school commencement was the only event that had to be moved due to the construction. Since touring acts are slower during the summer, the project hasn’t dramatically impacted their scheduling.

“That doesn’t mean we are not busy,” Punt said. “Our conference rooms and auxiliary gym are being utilized all summer for banquets, proms, basketball and volleyball camps.”

Project leader Marcie Van Horn said the whole building is not under construction, and its offices remain open. Both the building roof and the arena floor are being renovated and replaced.

“As is typical, most roofing systems have about a 20-year life cycle, and this roof has been up 18 years,” Van Horn said. “This started as an arena floor project and grew into a roof replacement as well.”

Though officials knew that the lifespan of the roof was drawing to an end, the floor was the primary concern because the original floor was not level when poured. Combined with general use and wear and tear, the floor needed replacement before the roof.

“We had used different self-leveling agents in the past, from cement products to epoxy, and we found that those deteriorate over time,” Van Horn said. “The more permanent solution is to remove the concrete, which is far more cost effective in the long term.”

Van Horn said that Penn State decided to take care of both projects at once, rather than do another major project in two years. With the help of engineering consultants, they started design work on the roof back in September, “which is pretty short for designing anything for construction.”

As of last week, Van Horn said that construction was 30 percent complete. Though they have a small window to complete construction and have had some setbacks for rain, a dedicated crew and intensive work schedule keeps the project on track.

“If you load it with enough crews, it can be done and that’s what our roofing subcontractor has done,” Van Horn said.

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Michael Martin Garrett is a freelance reporter who frequently writes for the Centre County Gazette
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