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Penn State York's New Library and Performing Arts Center Opens August 25

New Library and Performing Arts Center
8/9/2005 —

August 25 marks an exciting moment in history for Penn State York when the campus unveils its new building featuring the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center, the Lee R. Glatfelter Library and the John T. and Paige S. Smith Atrium.

The day of festivities is free and open to the public. Penn State University President Graham Spanier and a number of other University and local officials, alumni, students, and members of the community will take part in the opening ceremony.

Grand Opening Events Schedule
Time Event
1:00 p.m. Donor Reception
2:00 p.m. Ribbon cutting and dedication
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Interactive tours of facility
Samples of University Creamery ice cream provided by the alumni!
7:00 p.m. CTO Fifth Avenue, free concert


Construction on the 71,000 square foot facility began just over a year ago and completion of the building has been highly anticipated by the campus and community. The $11.9 million facility is being constructed with state funding through the Department of General Services in Harrisburg. The new building overlooks the City of York from the top of the hill on the southside of the campus near the Main Classroom Building.

The performing arts center has seating for 1,000 and will offer full theater capabilities. Students, faculty, staff, visitors, and guests will enjoy the intimacy of a smaller theater with the seating capacity of a larger venue because of the balcony that is part of the architectural design. "We will have a fully equipped theatre with state-of–the-art lighting and sound and one of the largest stage houses in the area. There's a full fly tower which allows us to bring in tours and traveling shows of all kinds," said Steve Haver, director of the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center.  "The campus has already booked 42nd Street the touring Broadway show for September 28 at 8:00 p.m., notes Haver. For ticket information on the performance, contact Haver at 505-8900.

This section of the building will also house art classroom space and offer programming flexibility not currently available on campus. The performing arts center will allow the campus to bring in a variety of entertainment and educational programming that will compliment the offerings of other venues in the area. "We will try to provide cultural and educational experiences to the community that appeal to a wide audience and are not currently available," notes Gumke. In addition to cultural events, the performing arts center will also be used for commencement, a film series, and a variety of other activities. The performing arts center will also be home to four resident companies - the York Youth Symphony Orchestra, York Junior Symphony Orchestra, York County Honors Choir, and the York County Junior Honors Choir – who will rehearse and perform there. The library portion of the facility will be two separate levels and include group study rooms, stack space, instructional space, and special collections rooms. More seating space will be available in the new library and visitors will have a spectacular view of Memorial Park, the City of York, campus, and the woods.

The library doubles in size from just 9,000 square feet in the old facility to almost 20,000 square feet in the new one. "The whole internal environment of the library will be remarkably different than what library users are currently used to," said David B. Van de Streek, assistant librarian at Penn State York. "In addition to a larger, more spread out space, there will be a generous amount of natural light through the library's many windows, and the general acoustics should be far better than those experiences in the old library." The library will also have its own computer lab. The performing arts center and the library are connected with an atrium/lobby space designed to be open to floors above and below. There will be ample use of glass to take advantage of natural light and the vistas to the north. Sparky and Clarks, a popular local café, will have a location in the atrium and the café will be open during the day for students, faculty, staff, and visitors as well as during events at the performing arts center.

In addition to the paid performances in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center, the campus will continue its free cultural arts series sponsored in part by the York Newspaper Company. Free programs already booked for the performing arts center include Cheryl Wheeler, folk singer, Friday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.; Komplex, Spoken Word Poet, Thursday, January 19, 2006, 7:00 p.m.; Chinua Hawk, R&B singer, Thursday, February 9, 2006, 7:00 p.m.; The Healing Force, Thursday, February 23, 2006, 7:00 p.m.; Great Jazz Divas, Thursday, March 23, 2006, 7:00 p.m.; and Val Mazzenga, The Untold Story, lecture, Thursday, April 6, 2006, 7:00 p.m.

"Penn State York invites students, faculty, staff, and the local community to the opening of this highly anticipated new building," said Dr. Joel M. Rodney, chancellor of Penn State York. "Come and celebrate with us." Lobar Inc., is the general contractor for the project and the architectural firm Murphy and Dittenhafer of York is the design professional for the project. Check out progress on the new building by visiting our live Web cam.

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