Katie Hillman – Staff Writer
CLARION, Pa.- Clarion University officials plan to continue renovations across campus over the next few years.
Director of Facilities Management Eric Martin said the next project is the complete renovation of Tippin Gymnasium, which was built in 1968. The renovations “will replace aging mechanical, plumbing and electric systems,” said Martin. “Renovations will also refresh the entire facility, providing new facilities for use by students, faculty and staff as well as provide modern venues for athletic events.”
Tippin’s renovations will take approximately 18 months to complete. The project, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, comes through an authorization of the state legislature. It should cost approximately $42 million.
Plans also call for the Student Recreation Center to receive a new pool. It’s renovations will also include “increasing the size of the current locker rooms, which were undersized to begin with,” said Director of Auxiliary Operations Chad Thomas.
Additionally, a multi-year replacement plan is being created for the weight training and nautilus equipment.
Originally, Rec Center updates had a later start date, but student interest in having a recreational venue with these features influenced officials to advance the date. While there is not a projected price, funds for the renovations come from money put into reserves over the last several years.
“Based on what I have heard from students, they love the idea of being able to have a relaxing place to go, as well as the different programing that could occur in the pool such asintermural water volleyball and pool parties, which have been previously held in the Tippin pool,” said Thomas.
Following the spring semester, plans call for the replacement of the roof of the Marwick Boyd Fine Arts Center.
“The current roof has exceeded its life and has numerous leaks,” said Thomas. The roof repair, set to run May through July, costs approximately $500,000 and will be funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Last spring, Egbert’s residence hall services relocated to Becht Hall in a renovation that consolidated most on-campus student services. This move left Egbert Hall empty, which allows for a complete renovation of the building.
“Both Egbert Hall and Carrier Hall were in need of complete mechanical system upgrades [and] replacements, and the university space needs did not require the use of both buildings,” said Martin.
“Egbert Hall was identified as the better option for the needed office space, thus allowing the space Carrier currently occupies to be used for green space.”
The project’s start date is currently unknown, but it is estimated that it will take 18 months to complete once construction begins. Renovations will cost approximately $6 million and will be funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Architects are currently reviewing information to lead to accessibility improvements for those with disabilities on the Clarion and Venango campuses. This effort focuses on Stevens Hall, the Special Education Annex, Moore Hall and Venango’s Suhr Library.
Martin hopes all renovations will help attract and retain students.