UNVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, Penn State’s University Park Student Fee Board will be listening to presentations on several potential upcoming facilities projects. The presentations will give the fee board an overview of the proposed plans, estimated costs, and benefits for six projects, including a Fisher Hall renovation, a dedicated wellness center, a HUB-Robeson Center expansion, HUB-Robeson Center affinity organization space, Stone Valley improvements, and a new Natatorium. These projects are part of the Student Affairs facilities master plan.
While the six projects that will be presented are still in the proposal phase, the presentations will help the fee board better plan for future fee cycles, according to Claire Kelling, University Park Student Fee Board chair.
“This differs from the normal hearing process, where we only consider proposals that are relatively set in stone for the following academic year,” said Kelling. “Although these projects do not have a set timeline and budget, an overall estimate will help us forecast the need for potential fee increases in the future, leverage University funding commitments, and potentially make firm commitments this year toward facilities project(s).”
Fee board members will hear from University staff in Student Affairs, the Office of Physical Plant, Finance and Business, and Athletics. The presentations will include initial project concepts and rough cost estimates. Project plans and cost estimates are both subject to change.
Based on the presentations as well as consultation from University staff, the fee board will prioritize the projects and make recommendations for how the student fee can help fund them, which will include putting money in reserve, since many of these projects will not happen for several years. The student fee will be an important source of funding as these projects move forward.
“There is no single example of student involvement in institutional decision-making that is more substantive than the work done by the Student Fee Board process,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs. “These students give this responsibility the full weight of their attention and balance well the need for both excellence and cost containment. The result ensures that student life beyond the classroom at Penn State remains purposeful and rewarding, as it should.”
The Student Initiated Fee supports student-centered activities, services, facilities and recreation to improve student life. The University Park Student Fee Board makes recommendations to the University president about the use of these fees at University Park. For more information about how the student fee is allocated, visit studentfee.psu.edu.