Penn State Athletics Announces 20-Year Facilities Master Plan
March 13, 2017
INFORMATION REGARDING THE FACILITIES MASTER PLAN ANNOUNCEMENT:
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics has concluded a Facilities Master Plan that focuses on creating conditions for success for its student-athletes and enhanced experiences for the Nittany Lions' passionate and loyal students, alumni, staff and fans.
Over the past 17 months, Penn State has partnered with Populous, one of the world's leading architecture and sport event planning firms, in collaborating on programming, developing and producing a comprehensive Facilities Master Plan to address needs for the Nittany Lions for the next 20 years. The master plan creates a strategy to address year-around needs that will deliver a combination of new and renovated venues, enhancing the game day experience and integrating the facilities within the University Park campus in a more intentional manner.
The exhaustive study is a road map for one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs to provide best-in-class facilities that optimize student-athlete academic and athletic performance and are functional, sustainable and anticipate future growth and change.
Penn State offers 31 varsity sports (16 men's/15 women's) and has approximately 800 student-athletes and a staff of approximately 300. Nittany Lion student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent and have won 76 national championships and 102 Big Ten Conference titles all-time.
Among some of the highlights, the Facilities Master Plan identifies five priority projects during the initial five years -- falling in the next five-year capital plan - the first four of which are new construction:
"We are pleased to have completed this master planning study and to share this aspirational 20-year road map for our physical infrastructure," stated Sandy Barbour, Director of Athletics. "This has been a collaborative, engaging process with our ICA staff, student-athletes, campus partners, community and Populous. This plan continues our efforts to centralize our operations and efficiencies for our students and staff and improve amenities for our alumni and fans.
"These facility resources will greatly assist in our vision of creating conditions for success for our student-athletes as we prepare them for a lifetime of impact," Barbour added. "We look forward to engaging with our key stakeholders to most effectively and efficiently activate this plan."
The critical road map for the future was formulated with input from various stakeholders, including Penn State coaches, ICA staff, student-athletes, campus partners, Nittany Lion Club members and season ticket holders. A 10-member Facilities Master Plan executive committee included several Penn State senior level administrators outside of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Financial support for these facilities will be developed on a project-by-project basis and may include sources such as philanthropy, ICA operational revenues to support debt, corporate partnerships and the possibility of public-private partnerships or student support, where appropriate.
The master plan addresses 23 venues that Penn State's 31 programs practice, train, compete and are housed in and the needs of its student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans. The goal was to provide ICA with a comprehensive vision for the future with a phased implementation strategy that responds to current needs, considers sustainability on a vibrant, student-centered campus, is economically viable and flexible to adjust to the dynamic and fluctuating environment of intercollegiate athletics. The study was developed and aligned with campus design standards found in the University Park master plan.
Four New Construction Projects Slated During Initial Five Years
During the initial five years of the master plan, renovations will occur at Jeffrey Field, home of the men's and women's soccer programs, and construction is scheduled to begin on the four new facilities previously outlined and described below. The Natatorium and Indoor Tennis Facility are being developed in partnership with Penn State Campus Recreation, which has the operational responsibility of these facilities.
Barbour said that Intercollegiate Athletics will be seeking to raise a minimum of $120 million in philanthropic gifts in order for the initial five projects to commence. The start of construction for any facility is not expected to begin until the 2018-19 academic year at the earliest, the first year of the five-year capital plan related to the Facilities Master Plan.
No additional projects are slated to begin during the first five years of the master plan, although philanthropy designated for specific facilities could provide an opportunity for an earlier start date for those targeted projects.
Planning and design concepts for the Penn State Lacrosse Field began prior to the master plan study and final designs and construction will move forward as soon as the philanthropy goals are met for the project.
Overview of Priority Projects During Initial Five Years
CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
INDOOR PRACTICE FACILITY
INDOOR TENNIS FACILITY
"The primary goals of the athletic master plan were to consolidate operations and enhance the life of a student-athlete," said Scott Radecic, Senior Principal at Populous and a former Nittany Lion student and graduate. "The consolidation of activities provides opportunities for more interaction between student-athletes, coaches and administration. As a former student-athlete, that interaction is a key part of a great collegiate experience.
"I would like to thank the ICA leadership planning team of Sandy Barbour, Phil Esten and Mark Bodenschatz," Radecic added. "They were always open, honest and direct. Over the years we have built a fantastic relationship. I appreciate their dedication to the university and their diligence to provide the best opportunities for all student-athletes, coaches and staff. Ford Stryker, his team from the Office of the Physical Plant, including the Campus Planning and Design staff, have worked hard over the years to create a beautiful campus experience. Their input and direction was instrumental in developing a long term plan that cohesively integrates the future athletic vision with core campus planning goals and objectives."
The master plan includes a phased and prioritized implementation strategy and corresponding conceptual level total project cost estimates. The project also includes a site plan that establishes site relationships, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, open space and landscape concept and identify branding and business opportunities. The ICA master plan also has been integrated into the University Park campus master plan.
Numerous New and Renovated Facilities in Master Plan
Extensive Beaver Stadium Renovations Included in Master Plan
At a time to be determined after the initial five years, the master plan calls for substantial renovations to Beaver Stadium, which was constructed in 1960 and has expanded seven times, most recently in 2001. The upgrades include a significant increase in chairback seating, new concessions locations and food options, new restrooms, wider concourses and additional premium seating options, which alumni and fans requested in surveys conducted during the master planning process.
Once the extensive renovation is complete, which will significantly improve fan amenities and experience, Beaver Stadium will have a capacity of at least 100,000, maintaining its stature as one of the nation's largest and most iconic facilities. Improvements to the tailgating experience around Beaver Stadium also is included in the study.
Dauer Road to Be Extended from University Drive to Bigler Road
The master plan also includes extension of Dauer Road, which runs on the south side of the Bryce Jordan Center from Porter Road to University Drive. The study calls for Dauer Road to continue just south of Pegula Ice Arena, with new construction extending the road between the Center for Excellence and the Field Hockey Complex, connecting with the existing road south of the Sarni Tennis Center, and on to Bigler Road.
In order to make way for the new Indoor Tennis Complex, the Center for Excellence and the extension of Dauer Road, the East Area Locker Room and indoor tennis facilities will be demolished.
Populous has nearly 35 years of experience designing innovative, forward-looking facilities that create a memorable and authentic fan experience while enhancing revenue generation opportunities. Populous has designed more than 2,000 projects globally, including the 2001 Beaver Stadium renovation and expansion, and planned more than 200 major worldwide events, including Olympic Games, World Cups, Super Bowls and NCAA Final Fours.
About Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics
Penn State has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men's, 15 women's). Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.
The Nittany Lions' 48 NCAA Championships all-time (76 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. The Nittany Lions' 102 conference titles rank No. 3 among all Big Ten institutions since 1992-93. Penn State is among only nine institutions nationwide to have finished in the Top 25 in all 23 Learfield Directors' Cup final standings.