Update: The full Board of Trustees approved the final plans and expenditure of funds by a 27-6 vote on Friday, Feb. 19.
The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning on Thursday recommended approval of an expansion plan for the Lasch Football Building budgeted at $48.3 million.
The full board will vote on the plan’s approval during its Friday meeting. Committee member Anthony Lubrano was the only committee member to vote against the plan, citing spending concerns.
The Lasch Building has been the home for Penn State football for just over 20 years and has undergone a handful of renovations, most recently with the addition of new locker rooms and other players spaces.
“We have continued to invest in our athletics facilities the last several years, and the Lasch Building has been a big part of that,” Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour said in a press release.
“We always strive to provide our student-athletes quality facilities which will prepare them for a lifetime of impact, while competing for national championships in all 31 sports. Our alumni and donors have supported our Football Excellence Fund since its inception in recognition of the investment required to support a consistently excellent football program. We will continue to fundraise for this renovation, as well as future projects in our football facilities, and will need the support of our entire Penn State community.”
The expansion, which StateCollege.com first reported on last year, will include a first-floor weight room expansion, strength training and conditioning upgrades, a new lobby entrance, and mechanical and electrical systems upgrades.
The entire project is being designed by HOK of Philadelphia, that appointment was made in May 2019 for a multi-phase project that includes renovations to the Lasch Building, neighboring Holuba Hall and their adjacent practice fields. The estimated budget for the total project at the time of selection was $69 million with the Lasch portion of the project now slated for $48,300,000.
According to Barbour, roughly $8 million in funds have been raised through philanthropy while the rest is currently being funded by taxable and tax-free debt servicing in order to avoid further delays or increased costs. The project was slated to begin in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous renovations had been entirely funded by philanthropy.
A student- athlete development suite will house a “5th Quarter Program” designed to help student-athletes transition from high school to college and college to professional ranks through life skills and education programs.
Additionally upgrades to the sports medicine department will include a portable x-ray machine, a new hydrotherapy pool and more office space and work areas.
“With the support of the Board of Trustees and many great donors to our Football Excellence Fund, we have been fortunate to complete several upgrades to the Lasch Building since our arrival,” head coach James Franklin said in a release.
“This next phase of those renovations will continue to provide our student-athletes with the resources needed to compete at the highest level on and off the field. The addition of the student-athlete development suite for our 5th Quarter Program will provide a world class facility to prepare our guys as they transition to Penn State and prepare them for life beyond football. We will continue to fundraise to make this this and future projects a reality.”