Penn College Board Approves Building Program, Bond Issue

Published 10.11.2007


Additional student housing is included in Pennsylvania College of Technology's Stage X Building Program, approved Thursday by the college's board of directors.Pennsylvania College of Technology's Board of Directors has approved the college's Stage X Building Program − a plan calling for construction of additional student housing and extensive renovations at several facilities on the main campus.

The student-housing construction and the major renovation projects in the building program will be financed by a 30-year bond issue that was approved Thursday by the board. The program also includes a category of smaller renovation projects that will be financed through the college's operating budget and/or bond proceeds.

The bond issue has a projected face value of $124,990,000 − $53,260,000 for the impending construction and renovations, and $71,730,000 to refinance some of the college's existing bonds. The refinancing is projected to generate $2,162,658 in net present-value savings.

The three major renovation projects to be financed by the bond issue involve the Hager Lifelong Education Center, the Parkes Automotive Technology Center and the Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center/Machining Technologies Center on the main campus.

"I am particularly pleased that we can advance this initiative, because virtually all of the funds will be spent on improving academic and student-life spaces that the students, faculty and staff of today − and the future − deserve," said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour.

Senior Vice President William J. Martin, who oversees the college's construction/renovation projects, added: "This program is, by far, the college's most ambitious undertaking in terms of complexity, cost and scope. It is a multiyear project that should position the college in terms of major physical-plant needs well into the 21st century."

Timetables have not been established for the major projects in the building plan, Martin said, but work could begin as early as January 2009, after bids are received in late 2008. The exact schedules will be determined with the architect during the one-year design phase.

If the student-housing construction and the renovation projects for the Lifelong Education Center and Automotive Technology Center begin in early 2009, that work may be completed in time for Fall 2010. The Metal Trades Center/Machining Technologies Center renovation is expected to begin last, with completion tentatively scheduled for Fall 2011.

Student Housing Construction The new student housing will offer approximately 260 more beds and merge the College West and Rose Street Apartments complexes into a single student-housing area at the west end of campus. New Food Services facilities, Residence Life offices and student recreational spaces will be part of the project. The college currently offers approximately 1,500 beds in four student-housing complexes.

Hager Lifelong Education Center Renovation of the Lifelong Education Center will result in early childhood education facilities and The Children's Learning Center (the college's day-care facility) relocating from the Bush Campus Center to spaces formerly occupied by the college library, which moved into its new home (the Madigan Library) in 2006.

The Outreach for K-12 Office will be relocated into existing space in the Lifelong Education Center. Its vacated space in the Electrical Technologies Center will be used for faculty offices, with only minor renovations required. On the second floor of the Lifelong Education Center, classrooms and faculty office space will be created. The Strategic Planning and Research Office and the Grants and Contracts Office both will be located there. The renovation also will upgrade science laboratories and relocate the physics program from the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center.

The facility's hot-water system will be replaced, and new chillers will be added with increased capacity for future expansion. The building will also receive a fire-protection sprinkler system and be made compliant for emergency codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Parkes Automotive Technology Center The Automotive Technology Center will be renovated and enlarged to permit the enrollment of additional students. Mechanical upgrades will permit more efficient cooling of the offices and partial cooling of the laboratory spaces.

The building will receive a fire-protection sprinkler system and be brought into compliance with emergency codes, insulation requirements and ADA.

Avco-Lycoming Metal Trades Center/Machining Technologies Center The welding and machine shops in the Metal Trades Center and the Machining Technologies Center will be renovated to reflect current trade practices as represented in the curriculum and to address issues of mechanical access for machine maintenance and student safety.

New faculty offices will be created, and classroom facilities will be upgraded. New mechanical systems will be installed and sized for future expansion. The basement will be closed off, and electrical and mechanical devices will be relocated. The building will receive a fire-protection sprinkler system and be brought into compliance with contemporary building codes and ADA requirements.

Other Projects Plastics and Polymer Technology − First-floor-east areas of the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center that were vacated when the electronics program moved to the new Center for Business & Workforce Development will be renovated for plastics instruction. This work, which is already under way, will provide much-needed instructional laboratory space for plastics and address safety issues. Several new classrooms will become available for institutional use. The expected completion date is in January. Most of the work will be done in-house.

College Information and Community Relations − The spaces for this office will be relocated from the second and third floors of the Student and Administrative Services Center to the third floor of the Madigan Library, with the work expected to begin in early 2008. The vacated offices will be occupied by Information Technology Services, which will also move personnel to the third-floor-south portion of the Student and Administrative Services Center.

Information Technology Services − The renovation of the third floor of the Student and Administrative Services Center to accommodate some ITS operations has been designed. It is anticipated that work by an outside contractor will begin in mid-2008 on the south side of the building. Many ITS staff housed in the third-floor loft space of the Student and Administrative Services Center will be moved to vacated space within the building.

Executive Offices − Designs for the north and south areas of the third floor of the Student and Administrative Services Center are under review. The north side of the facility (President's Office, Academic Affairs) is expected to be renovated beginning in early 2008. The south-side renovation (Student Affairs, Institutional Advancement, Business Affairs and Information Technology Services) is expected to begin around June.

Business Program − This renovation will address vacated physics laboratories in the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, creating classrooms, computer labs and faculty offices, as well as a new school suite. The rear portion of the renovation could be completed in Summer 2008 by college personnel, with the front portion scheduled to be completed sometime after the physics program's relocation.

Hospitality − The conversion of the Lifelong Education Center's tiered classroom to a functional laboratory for the School of Hospitality has been designed. The renovation is not tied to a specific time frame.

Health Services − The completion of the Lifelong Education Center renovation will allow expanded space for Student Health Services in the Campus Center, a relatively minor renovation.

Media Arts − The completion of the Lifelong Education Center renovation will create expanded space for media arts instructional areas in the Campus Center, another relatively minor renovation.

Murray Associates Architects, P.C., Harrisburg, will design all of the various construction and renovation projects in the Stage X Building Program. The college's bond underwriter is NatCity Investments Inc. Bond counsel is Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP.