HUB Expansion Moving Forward

By Mallory Lane

Published 04/29 2014 05:09PM

Updated 04/29 2014 05:32PM

PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State students are leaving their mark on Penn State Tuesday as the HUB expansion project continues on the university's main campus.

Phase one of the HUB expansion is expected to be complete next summer.

Mary Edgington, the Senior Director of Union and Student Activities, calls it Penn State's biggest living room.

"We provide lots of space for student organizations, meeting room spaces for students, faculty and staff," she said. "We offer lots of different programs and services, a place for students to study, socialize."

The HUB is undergoing a major makeover.

"The bookstore will open in October, we'll do a lot of renovations of the dining areas this summer, so they'll open in August," Edgington said. "Then, the large, new construction area will open in February. It's a phase project, but it will all be completed next summer."

The project will add about 54,800 square feet of additional space and 52,000 square feet of renovated space.

The university's Board of Trustees approved final plans to the $44.6 million project in May 2013. It will be paid for primarily from student facilities fees, HUB and Bookstore reserves and food services funds.

Edgington said the expansion is long overdue. With more than 40,000 students on campus and over 900 student organizations, they're running out of room and students are ready for a change.

"It's fun just to be a part of this and to come back and share it with your kids and tell them you did this when you went to school," junior, Jessica Murray, said.

Murray and thousands of other students are signing the steel beams that will be erected in the new HUB expansion.

"The students have been a part of it from day one," Edgington said. "They've been part of the design, the thought process. It's really a student project from the very beginning to the very end. I think that's why they're so excited about it."

The beams will be out until 10 p.m. Tuesday night for students to sign and again Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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