Physical improvements ready campus for return of students
Penn State Wilkes-Barre recently underwent significant renovations to buildings and parking areas, thanks to funding from University Park. The main parking lot, used by faculty, staff, and students, was completely redesigned and repaved at a cost of approximately $1 million. According to Reese Smith, maintenance and housekeeping manager, the improvements dramatically reshaped the nature of the parking area, and returning students should be impressed with the changes. Improvements include the addition of pedestrian walkways from the parking area to the campus; a bus drop-off area; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant access to the tennis courts and the Athletics & Recreation Building; all new light fixtures and landscaping; wider parking spaces; new signage designating parking sections for faculty, staff, and students, plus 10 handicapped vehicles, 12 motorcycle spaces, and a carpool section. In addition, University Drive, the main entrance to the campus, was widened and resurfaced; a new volleyball court was built; and the property adjacent to the soccer field was graded and leveled for the comfort and convenience of campus and community members who use the field.
In addition to the parking area upgrades, ADA compliant entrances were installed at the Bell Atlantic Center for Technology, and the University Committee on Instructional Facilities has designated funding for two classrooms in that building. Both rooms are being remodeled and will include ceiling mounted projectors, new seating, and new sinks.
According to Dr. Lynda Goldstein, interim chancellor at the campus, the physical improvements will continue into the fall when a new maintenance building, funded by University Park, will be erected adjacent to the Center for Technology. In addition, groundbreaking for the new Abram Nesbitt, III Academic Commons, housing a new library, several classrooms, a cyber café, and art gallery, is expected in the spring of 2006.