DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton’s Multipurpose Building (gymnasium) and athletic fields are undergoing a series of renovations this summer aimed at making the facilities more modern and aesthetically pleasing, as well as improving the sites’ functionality.
The Multipurpose Building, which was built in 1968, is getting a new gym floor, replacing the original one that has been in place for about 50 years. Additional work includes a freshly painted ceiling and walls.
The building received a number of upgrades a few years ago, when the campus undertook a multi-million dollar three-phase athletics renovation that included the Matt McGloin Baseball Field, the UGI Utilities Softball Field, soccer field and additional enhancements. Eight years later, the Multi-Purpose Building is getting some more improvements, all aimed at bettering the facility for student athletes and the campus community.
The Student Facility Fee, coupled with funds from the University’s Major Maintenance fund (through the Office of the Physical Plant) are funding the $300,000 needed for the gymnasium project. “The gym floor will then be completely demoed out, and rebuilding from the bottom up will take place, replacing the underlayment all the way to the playing surface,” explained Matt Nied, director of student services and engagement, adding, “the idea is to create a fresh clean look to the space.”
“The gym floor replacement is the last piece of the puzzle of upgrades to the main gym (basketball courts),” said Eugene Grogan, director of business services. “It started several years ago, replacing all the basketball backgrounds in the main gym. This summer we are replacing the gym floor along with painting the entire gym.”
“The floor itself is the original floor that was installed in 1970, that had been resurfaced several times over the years,” said Grogan. “The floor will be replaced with a maple hardwood flooring, an updated electronic flow system that will prevent moisture in the hardwood floor and consist of updated University logos, court layouts for volleyball, new electronic indoor batting cage, etc.,” said Grogan.
Penn State Scranton’s Director of Athletics and Recreation Paul Moyer said he is very much looking forward to the new gym renovations, especially “seeing students come back for pre-season practices and intramurals at the beginning of the year and hearing their reactions after experiencing a new, modern gym floor, the new Penn State branding and the feel of a new gym.”
“The new floor will allow the players to consistently perform at higher levels and reduce the chance of injuries during practice and competition,” said Moyer. “I know the basketball and volleyball coaches, and athletes in particular, are tremendously excited."
Modern spaces help boost morale and improve the student experience
“Clearly, new, modern spaces are attractive and improve the student experience across campus,” said Moyer. “We have seen this in student affairs (which recently had a full renovation of their office and student spaces) and will see it soon in nursing." The campus' Nursing Suite and Library is set to undergo a major renovation and expansion later this year.
Moyer emphasized that these renovations will allow faculty and staff to better serve students and offer a more enhanced experience.
“This is also true in athletics and recreation,” he said. “We will have a new gym floor and new fitness equipment that will provide the students a truly enhanced experience.” Moyer said he believes these renovations will also aid in attracting top students from the region who are interested in Penn State Scranton’s athletic programs.
“Finally, we hope to do renovations to the lower level of the gym in the coming years and design an addition to the gym like many other commonwealth campuses (have done),” said Moyer. “The goal is to design and build facilities that allow our students an opportunity to, at a minimum, experience what they had at their secondary schools.”
In addition to the Multipurpose Building renovation, Penn State Scranton’s soccer field is also getting some improvements. Penn State Scranton’s Student Facility Fee committee is working closely with the IT departments at both the campus and University Park to extend data, both hardwired and wireless, to the field to provide a dedicated line for live streaming games and events from the field.
Penn State Scranton will also be installing a series of drainage pipes throughout the soccer field to move the water from the playing surface, Nied said. “The desired outcome is to create a smoother, more even, playing field; I’m excited about it!”
Nied highlighted the importance of Penn State Scranton’s Student Facility Fee and the students, as they are the driving force behind these projects. "They have met, looked at proposals and voted to allocate funds to tackle these projects," said Nied.