Penn State approves plans for engineering building, art museum

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West 1 Building Plans. Photo credit: Payette

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Penn State University Board of Trustees has made advancements on two different buildings.

The board approved the final plans and construction of a new $228 million engineering research and teaching space at the University Park campus, currently named “West 1.”

West 1 is the latest project in the College of Engineering’s proposed plan to modernize engineering facilities. It will provide 290,000 gross square feet for flexible classrooms, multi-use design studios, research labs, faculty offices and an indoor flight facility for students working with unmanned aerial vehicles.

“With considerable support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the University is making a tremendous investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with these projects for the College of Engineering,” Justin Schwartz, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering said.

Construction is expected to start in June. In addition, the Board of Trustees approved final plans for the construction of a new Palmer Museum of Art. This will be located alongside the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens within the Arboretum at Penn State’s University Park campus.

The new Palmer Museum of Art will cost $85 million for the 71,000 square foot facility. Groundbreaking for the facility is expected to begin this summer with a project opening in the fall semester of 2023. This will replace the current museum on Curtin Road.

“The new museum will help to strengthen Palmer’s academic collaborations with faculty and foster exciting student engagement opportunities through experiential learning, creative activities, and spaces designed for innovative cross-disciplinary programs,” Erin Coe, director of the Palmer Museum of Art said. “As one of the largest art museums between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and the most significant academic art museum in the state, this new facility will help to advance the Palmer as a cultural destination and scholarly resource for the University, surrounding communities, and visitors from across Pennsylvania and beyond.”

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