Penn State’s Nursing Sciences Building, located in a prominent position along College Avenue, is set to soon receive a $28 million face-lift.
The university’s full board of trustees unanimously voted Friday afternoon to approve the mulitmillion-dollar proposal, which includes a renovation and a 2,700-square-foot addition to be completed by August 2025. Construction could start as early as this month, although “full construction” would not begin until May 2024.
The 44-year-old Nursing Sciences Building, home to University Park’s Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing, will see the addition of a 180-student classroom and knowledge commons space — about 2,700 square feet — in addition to a complete facade replacement, new HVAC system, new lighting and various levels of interior renovation that involve about 25,000 square feet.
“This renovation project will enhance our teaching and learning spaces by creating truly collaborative, experiential learning environments,” College of Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek said in a written statement. “As a premier educator of pre-licensure nurses across the commonwealth, this upgrade to our building at University Park will ensure the next generation of nurses are confident in their skills and will have experienced a nursing education that mirrors the needs of the profession.”
According to Bill Sitzabee, vice president for facilities management and planning, the renovation/addition will mitigate about $12 million in the building’s maintenance backlog.
The university plans to pay up to $28 million in improvements through borrowing ($10 million), gifts ($10 million), reserves ($5 million) and president funds ($3 million). That comes two years after a “transformational” pledge of about $27 million from Ross and Carol Nese, two health-care professionals, in what was the second-largest single commitment ever to a PSU academic unit. (Some $10 million of their gift was set aside for future renovations.)
The building at 269 E. College Ave. is located almost directly across the end of McAllister Street in downtown State College, on the southwest corner of the HUB lawn.
The trustees’ Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning advanced the proposal Thursday. The full board then approved it Friday afternoon in Room 603 of the Barron Innovation Hub Building.