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Penn State York Celebrates Grand Opening of New Facility

Photo of the new building
8/26/2005 —

More than 500 people took part in a day of celebration during the grand opening of Penn State York’s new facility on Aug. 25 featuring the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center, the Lee R. Glatfelter Library, and the John T. and Paige S. Smith Atrium.  The festivities began with a donor reception followed by a dedication and ribbon cutting, interactive tours of the buildings, and a free concert to close out the evening.   A number of University and local officials took part in the ceremony. Performers from a variety of local dance and musical groups provided entertainment throughout the afternoon.

View photos of this grand event!

Construction on the 71,000 square foot facility began just over a year and a half ago and completion of the building has been highly anticipated by the campus and community. The $13.2 million facility was constructed primarily with state funding ($11.9 million) through the Department of General Services in Harrisburg.  Additional funding was provided through local donors and the University.

The performing arts center has seating for 1,000 and offers full theater capabilities. Almost 700 seats in the house have been named, with plaques, in recognition of donors.  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. The Pullo Family Performing Arts Center is 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 the campus to bring in tours and traveling shows of all kinds.

The lower section of the building houses art and much needed general purpose classrooms.   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 has two separate levels and includes 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 library also features its own computer lab.

The performing arts center and the library are connected with an atrium/lobby 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 Clark’s, 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.

The Pullo Family Performing Arts Center is named in honor of Robert and Donna Pullo and their family’s lifelong commitment to education, culture, and the arts.  Mr. Pullo has served as a member of the Penn State York Advisory Board and through his work as campaign chairperson,  Penn State York’s fundraising efforts were a tremendous success.

The library is named in honor of the late Lee R. Glatfelter, community leader and volunteer, and in gratitude to Arthur J. Glatfelter, Jr., for his gifts in her memory.   Mr. Glatfelter established the Lee R. Glatfelter Endowment for Project Connections at Penn State York to serve the youth of the York community now and in the future.

The atrium is named to honor benefactor and friends, John T. Smith and the late Paige S. Smith.  Both graduates of Penn State, they established a scholarship in their name as well as the John T. and Paige S. Smith Professorship in science at the campus.   In addition to their donations to York, the Smiths have supported the colleges of agriculture and health and human development, as well as athletics.

The gala premiere event (black tie optional) for the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center is set for Sept. 28 when the Broadway musical 42nd Street takes to the stage.  For tickets and information, visit http://www.pullocenter.yk.psu.edu/ or call 717-505-8900.

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