Campus improvements planned for summer
A number of campus renovation projects are taking place this summer at Penn State New Kensington. Among these projects are upgrades to parking lots, chemistry labs and the Athletic Center.
Construction starts this month and continues through the summer with substantial completion expected by August 10 and final completion planned for August 17, according to Jason Bush, Penn State New Kensington director of business and finance.
“All projects are scheduled to be complete prior to the first day of class. Returning students will appreciate the improvements,” Bush said. “These are much needed improvements. The primary intent was to improve the safety and accessibility while using the opportunity to improve the image of the campus exterior. The improvements will be much more appealing to returning and potential students. These are maintenance projects that you get to see.”
Front Parking Lot
Already underway as of May 15, front parking lot improvements include removal of the front Myers Drive entrance, the addition of 10 new parking spaces and increased handicapped and visitor parking.
“I think the last time that lot was reconstructed was over 20 years ago,” Bush said. “The existing lot was in poor condition.”
An environmentally-friendly addition to the area will also be underway – the creation of two rain gardens to control storm water. Other improvements will increase seating niches, green space and landscaping in the Nittany Lion shrine area near the front lot.
Parking lots available during construction include lots B02 and B06, which are labeled in blue on the following campus map. Due to a scheduled job fair, lot W03 is open until June 18. A pedestrian walkway will be set up to provide access to the Athletic Center. The scheduled completion date for the project is August 10.
Among upgrades to the Athletic Center are beautification of its courtyard area and replacement of entry doors with card swipe access. Worn concrete will be replaced and reconfigured. Seating niches and raised aggregate concrete surfaces to match the front courtyard are planned, as is an outdoor bike rack, Bush said, for adventurous pedalers. The campus intends to coordinate efforts for these improvements to occur in July.
The chemistry lab in 116/117 Science Building will be completely renovated. Work on this project has already begun and is expected to be finished by August 10.
The renovations will improve safety and allow for more hands-on instruction. Upgrades will support all chemistry requirements and also support courses in various other disciplines, Bush said. The lab, he said, hasn’t been updated since the 1950s.
Other improvements in the works include replacement of the rooftop chiller unit in the Student Union Building, as well as work on a quiet study area and a couple of faculty office spaces. The latter two will begin as soon as a proposal for the work is approved, Bush said.
For more information, please contact Jason Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-334-6022.