Penn State trustees name architect for Abington project

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Board of Trustees on Jan. 18 approved the appointment of Spillman Farmer Architects of Bethlehem, Pa., for the Woodland Building renovation at Penn State Abington.

Dale Hollenbach, Abington chief operating officer, said the project will be completed in phases and includes a complete renovation of three chemistry laboratories as well as upgrades and repairs to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The roof, windows and bathroom facilities also will be repaired or replaced.

"The 2007 master plan emphasized use of the space to reflect 21st-century needs, pedagogy and safety," said Karen Wiley Sandler, campus chancellor. "The academic purpose is to renovate the labs so that they are safe, conducive to modern procedures and will encourage more undergraduate research."

The Woodland Building consists of two structures joined by a breezeway. It was completed in two phases in 1972 and 1973 and currently houses the library, as well as classrooms and spaces for the sciences, engineering and the arts. Students frequently fill the Woodland Cafe, where they can enjoy coffee, a sandwich or a snack in between classes. Downstairs from the cafe, Woodland Commons is another gathering place to for students to study or socialize adjacent to the campus art gallery. The building also boasts one of the most versatile multipurpose rooms on campus. With stadium-style seating and the latest technology, it accommodates almost 200 people for use as a traditional classroom, performance space or for public events.