CLARION, Pa. – When giving a tour around campus, the sound of boards being cut and backhoes scooping away remnants of a hill overpower the hustle and bustle of students coming and going. Caution: Construction zone tape clings to buildings. That’s because according to two and a half year director of facilities planning and management Richard Taylor, “These [construction] changes have been in the planning stages for more than a decade. These changes will provide competitive facilities that will enhance recruitment and retention.”
Many students have heard that Denny’s is coming to CU. This new Denny’s will be built within Gemmell this coming summer. However, this is not the only new and stirring renovation that is occurring on campus.
There are four other major renovations to be completed on the Clarion University campus.
These alterations have been years in the making and will bring changes that go beyond the Denny’s restaurant.
One of the construction projects transforming the university will be Tippin Gymnasium. The Tippin Gym will become the new athletic and convocation center for the university. This 1968 structure will undergo a complete renovation and extension.
“A new natatorium, or competition pool, will be built to the west where Page Street is now located. On the northwest of the complex, a two-story atrium-like strength and conditioning complex will be built,” Taylor said. “The venue will be completely reorganized into a bowl concept with entrance at the mid-level and access to seating up and down from this concourse level.”
Classrooms, training facilities, new concessions and a club seating area will also be added to this state appropriation $44.9 million project.
“As part of the project, a new recreational pool will be built east of the Rec Center and will include a few lap lanes but also a climbing wall, volleyball, basketball, a ‘bubble bed,’ and large spa. A large deck will accommodate hundreds of people for dances and pool parties. This $4.2 million building is self-funded by auxiliary reserves after many years of saving for the project,” Taylor said.
Construction will begin in 2014 and continue through 2017. The pools should be open by February 2016.
A $15.9 million project also primarily funded through a state appropriation is the renovation of the 1908 former residence hall Becht.
This project, having been under way since the fall, will be transformed into a “one-stop shopping complex,” said Taylor.
Here admissions, student financial services, registrar, residence life, health and counseling center, the learning technology center, career center, judicial affairs and international programs will be housed.
“The building will be heated and cooled by a geothermal well field located on the grassy area below the water tower; this area will be graded to create a recreation field,” Taylor said.
This new building will be ready for occupancy in summer 2015.
The final project to be completed will be the suites. The foundation-funded project of $61 million will replace around 728 bed spaces like those in Nair and Wilkinson, which are going to be torn down.
“The buildings will be to each side of Main Street between Carrier and Nair on one side and next to Still Hall on the other. The suites will include some with two single rooms sharing a common space and others that are double bedrooms sharing a common space,” Taylor said. “Throughout the buildings will be study lounges, meeting rooms, social lounges and other support spaces. On the first floors, retail outlets will include a relocated Starbuck’s, a Chartwells restaurant, the Bookstore and a multi-purpose 150-seat theater.” The first building will open in August 2015 followed by the second in December.
There are some big changes coming to Clarion, changes that will impact current and future students for years to come.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_tweetmeme type=”horizontal”][/vc_column][/vc_row]