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Plaza Opens, Renovations to Continue at Penn State York

Photo of students sitting at a table.
Students enjoy the new outdoor area behind the Main Classroom Building that was completed during the summer.
8/26/2014 —

Penn State York will have a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 27, at noon, to officially open the new lion shrine plaza area outside the John J. Romano Administration Building on the upper portion of the campus. The building’s exterior had not been updated since the late 1950s and the newly renovated area features a circular plaza area with seating, a water feature, new landscaping, stonework, and the Nittany lion statue on a pedestal, ready and waiting for those important photo opportunities.

Following the ceremony, a Free Food Truck Fair for faculty, staff and students will take place in the parking lot between the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center) and the Main Classroom Building. The fair will give the campus community an opportunity to sample food from a variety of vendors who will be visiting the campus throughout the next few semesters to provide some additional refreshment options while the Lion’s Den, the campus dining area, is under renovation. The Bistro cafe, located in The Pullo Center, and representatives from Chick-Fil-A will also be represented at the fair. Members of the campus community must present their Penn State ID to receive free food. The food sampling is from 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

In addition to the lion shrine plaza, an outdoor courtyard area near the entrance to Conference Center at the back of the Main Classroom Building was completed over the summer. This newly designed outdoor garden area provides additional spaces for students to gather, study, and relax. In an effort to continue the University’s commitment to sustainability and going green, the chairs and tables in the area are made out of recycled plastic milk jugs and water bottles.

Renovations to the campus will continue as plans move forward to expand the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community student center and renovate the existing space. The Lion’s Den in the Ruhl Center is now officially closed as the first phase of the renovation to that building commences. The Bistro, located in The Pullo Center, will remain open throughout the construction, and the campus has made arrangements for food trucks and other vendors to visit campus regularly to provide food options for students.

The student center will officially go offline on December 20 with construction set to begin in early 2015 as plans are approved. An additional 12,000 square feet will be added to the building, including a multi activity court, new locker rooms, and office space for student services. There will also be renovations made to the existing fitness center. Bids for the project are expected to go out at the end of the calendar year.

“The student center was built in the late 1960s and it was time to upgrade the facilities to better serve our students,” said Holly Gumke, director of business services at Penn State York. “The renovated student center will provide our students with facilities that better meet their needs.”

The project is expected to take from between eighteen and twenty-four months with a re-opening of the student center scheduled for no later than fall 2016.

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