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Bistro Plaza Sketch

Work on Penn State Beaver’s facilities has been ongoing since the campus opened its doors in fall 1965, and this year is no exception.

“We work year-round to make needed upgrades, renovations, and, when possible, additions that will enhance the campus,” said Luke Taiclet ’82 ’83 Lib, ’85 MEd, director of business and finance. “However, summer is an especially busy time.”

Renovations this summer will include changes to the main parking lot near the Lion Shrine, an expanded patio area for the Brodhead Bistro, and updates to the Student Union Building (SUB).

The parking lot near the Ross Administration Building (RAB) and the Lion Shrine will take on more of an oval shape, with wider parking spaces in the center and around the edges and new walkways.

The new design will make it easier for drivers and pedestrians to navigate through the lot, Taiclet said.

The parking lot’s entrance will be relocated closer to the Laboratory Classroom Building to improve traffic flow.

Taiclet noted that the Brodhead Bistro patio will undergo significant changes. The renovated patio will be four times the size of the original and will have a tiered design with more seating areas.

Jeremy Lindner ’00 Bus, director of housing and food services, said entertainers will be able to perform on the patio, with students sitting around them as well as on the hillside steps.

Students seem to love the idea.

“I’m excited for a newer Bistro patio,” said freshman Emily Winters, Division of Undergraduate Studies. “There isn’t too much room out there now, and I think more people would like to sit outside on pretty days. I’m excited to see how it all turns out.”

The SUB will also receive upgrades, beginning with the Lodge windows that face the neighboring Ross Administration Building.

In the 1970s and 1980s, campus musical productions were staged in the Lodge, and students painted elaborate backdrops directly on the windows. After productions were over, students scraped the paint off using razor blades, which resulted in long, deep scratches in the glass. Since then, time has taken a toll on the windows, which can’t be repaired, only replaced.

The original SUB entrance, located a short distance down the hall from the Lodge, will be renovated as well. A new entryway will be installed, including new windows and doors, and the sidewalk leading into the building will be replaced.

Taiclet said funding for the upcoming projects is provided by several sources at Penn State University Park and the campus.

Last year changes were made to the library’s entrance, including the removal of the concrete bridge that led to the main doors.

The empty area under the bridge was filled in and replaced with an attractive walkway. Plants and new seating areas give the entrance a fresh look.

Other campus improvements are under consideration, Taiclet said. The University is exploring a complete renovation of the Michael Baker Building (MBB).

Last fall an architectural firm conducted a feasibility study to examine the entire building. If plans are approved, renovations would include installing an elevator and accessible restrooms on both floors. Currently, restrooms are located on the top floor only.

“I think it would be awesome to finally have bathrooms downstairs,” said junior Danielle Joyner, liberal arts.

Construction on the MBB couldn’t begin until spring 2015, with completion anticipated sometime during the 2016-17 academic year.