Students on the Facilities Fee Advisory Committee have made a tentative decision that the money raised from the student facilities fee will not be going toward the renovations of the McCoy Natatorium and the Tennis Center.
Since 2008, the facilities fee has generated roughly $30 million to be put toward a non-academic space for students through the $112 each student has to pay.
Penn State Spokeswoman Lisa Powers wrote in an email that in light of Intercollegiate Athletics’ current financial limitations, which prevent it from contributing the balance of the funds necessary for these projects, the project is on hold.
“We will not be funding the natatorium or the tennis facility,” UPUA President Courtney Lennartz said. “Instead, we will be putting it toward other projects for the students such as the HUB expansion or the renovations to the IM Building.”
UPUA Chair of Internal Development Dray Krishnan said they decided not to put the money toward the natatorium because it does not seem fair to the students to fund a building that will mostly be used for intercollegiate varsity athletics.
“The average student would not be able to use it,” Lennartz (senior-health policy and administration) said. “The renovated part of the natatorium would be rented out or would be used by the swim team, and the students would get access to older facilities.”
UPUA Chairman of Facilities and Services David Harrington said the students on the committee felt that committing student money to a project, which was not fully funded, could result in being left in a difficult place monetarily.
Harrington said another issue was that the funding of the project would tie up the Facilities Fee financially for the next three to four years.
“We felt that it was both unfair to commit future members of the Board to our actions and that long term funding projects were not necessarily the place of the Board,” Harrington (senior-political science) said.
As of now, no formal decisions have been made as to what projects the money will fund.
“This decision is again not formal and will not be the official stance of the Facilities Fee Board until we reconvene in the coming weeks,” Krishnan (sophomore-accounting and economics) wrote in an email.
“The next Facilities Fee Advisory Committee meeting will be held in early October to decide where the funds will go and to discuss any smaller projects we want to fund, and we will figure out our goals for the year,” Lennartz said.