BUILDING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

Revitalization of Residence Halls Impacts Students, Connects Downtown

The revitalization of eight 1950’s residence halls, a dining commons, and a new residence hall will impact 1,200 students and two dozen sororities in a high density residential district that fronts the town of State College, Pennsylvania. South Halls is located along the southern edge of campus at College Avenue. One of the project goals was to improve the relationship with downtown and open new pedestrian connections to campus.

The renovation included eight 1950's residence halls for the Penn State Sororities, consisting of all interior finishes including flooring, wall, and ceiling surfaces. New features include the installation of code compliant doors and hardware, replacement of existing windows, and installation of private shower and toilet rooms to replace the original gang bathrooms.

Chace Hall at South Halls is a new five-story, steel structure with 216 bedrooms, including double beds with private bathrooms and lockers, a central common lounge with a kitchen, lounge and study spaces on each floor, wi-fi, security cameras and card access, laundry room, and interior bicycle storage. Redifer Commons is centrally located in the South Halls complex providing dining, a post office, computer facilities, and other student services. The renovation included a “facelift” to the College Avenue façade and an expansion of the West dining room to accommodate additional seating needs and private small-group dining options, additional food preparation space, an office addition, and interior renewal of the mailroom and computer lab.

Replacement of the original sixty-year-old systems and significant envelope improvements have converted inefficient 1950’s structures to highly energy efficient buildings.