HERSHEY — Penn State dormitories that haven’t seen improvements in more than two decades may be getting a facelift if the Board of Trustees approves plans for renovations at its meeting Friday.
During its meeting at The Hotel Hershey on Thursday, members of the Penn State Board of Trustees’ Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning discussed upgrades to East and Pollock Halls that are likely to include air conditioning, wireless Internet access and surveillance. They also discussed additional renovations to the Intramural Building.
Ideally, renovations to 14 dormitories in East Halls and nine in Pollock Halls will begin in about the next two years, Gail Hurley, associate vice president for auxiliary and business services, said.
The built-in furniture, such as the desks, will be removed to give students more space and flexibility in arranging their rooms, Hurley said. Two buildings, or 600 bed spaces, will be renovated per year, Hurley said.
Hurley said in a presentation to the committee that 77 percent of the undergraduate dormitories are at least 25 years old, and 52 percent are at least 43 years old.
Rich Pearce, associate vice president for auxiliary and business services, said he expects the project to cost a little more than $300 million over a 10-year period. That equates to about $30 million annually, Hurley said.
She said $20 million will be borrowed, and $10 million will come from reserves. Hurley noted the renovations will cause a slight reduction in bed space.
Hurley also outlined 2013-14 room and board rates for a double room and the standard meal plan, level three. The semester rate will be $4,685, an increase of $190 per semester, she said.
Earlier in the meeting, Ford Stryker, associate vice president of the Office of Physical Plant, said members of the Student Activity Fee Board said they would like to spend additional funds to improve the IM Building. The board discussed other IM Building improvements at its last meeting.
Members of the SAF committee want to include three gyms and convert the central area of the IM Building to a sports turf surface, Stryker said. They also want to upgrade the running track, Stryker said. He said the second phase of construction should be complete by 2015. A third phase depends on students’ ability to collect money, he said.
Stryker also said they would like to spend an additional $1.6 million on improvements to Redifer Commons, while contractors are already there to work on South Halls. Those improvements would include additional seating, moving the commons desk and enlarging the computer room.