UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Construction on the new home for Penn State’s Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes is proceeding, and a new virtual tour provides an early preview of what the student-centered facility will look like.
The $7.2 million project encompasses converting the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex into a 32,000-square-foot facility. The new home for academic services and support will consolidate Morgan Academic Center’s services and staff into one physical location for the first time for Penn State’s 800 student-athletes.A portion of the Morgan Academic Center project is being funded through private philanthropy, which is not yet complete. This project is part of the Bridge to the Future Fund and a variety of donor recognition opportunities are available throughout the facility.The Morgan Academic Center is a vital component in keeping Penn State's academic services and the academic performance of its 800 student-athletes from 31 programs at the forefront among the nation's premier Division I institutions. Tutoring, advising, computer labs, group study areas and meeting rooms are currently located in four separate locations on the University Park campus: East Area Locker Room, Lasch Football Building, Rec Hall and the Bank of America Career Services Building.The facility was designed by Hoffman Leakey Architects, and PJ Dick Construction created the animated virtual tour of the Morgan Academic Center so that current and future student-athletes, alumni, students and fans can better visualize what the facility will look like when it welcomes students for the 2016 fall semester. The virtual tour is available to view at: gopsu.info/1Qec8IG.
Among the numerous features in the new Morgan Academic Center will be: staff offices for the student-athlete development and welfare unit, academic counselors, learning specialists and a sports psychologist; 15 collaborative learning rooms; two conference rooms; classroom space; three large study rooms; two open reading rooms; computer lab; student lounge; fueling station and displays of student-athlete academic recognition through the years and benefactor recognition.The most striking new addition is the first-floor reading and study area featuring an open floor plan with high ceilings and window fixtures stretching two stories on the McKean Road side of the building. The ground floor of the new academic center will rest where the former ice surface existed in Greenberg for the Penn State Icers, and the Nittany Lion men’s and women’s varsity programs in 2012-13, before moving into the Pegula Ice Arena in October 2013.The Bridge to the Future Fund enables Penn State Athletics to renovate and upgrade athletic facilities for the basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, track and field, and volleyball programs. Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour gave the first major gift of $100,000 to the fund in 2015 for the Morgan Academic Center project.Among the Morgan Academic Center donor recognition opportunities that remain are: reading rooms, classroom, collaborative learning rooms, study hall rooms, student lounge, staff offices, graduate assistant areas, and a visitor reception area.For more information on Morgan Academic Center donor recognition opportunities, call the Nittany Lion Club at 814-865-9462 or 814-863-4438.The mission of the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student-Athletes is to provide appropriate academic support services to all student-athletes, including academic counseling, a first-year enrichment program, which includes two seminar courses and a study table program, individualized learning support services, career development, and access to a sports psychologist.Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 88 percent, five points higher than the NCAA Division I average, and have earned 191 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America selections, the fourth-highest total among Division I programs. During the 2015 fall semester, a record 516 Penn State student-athletes earned a 3.0 grade-point average or higher, marking the fourth consecutive year that a new record has been established.