College to Begin Construction of $25M Residence Hall

Penn State Behrend will begin construction of a $25 million, 250-bed residence hall in the spring of 2017. The building, which will be located near Ohio Hall, at the southwest corner of campus, is scheduled to open at the start of the fall 2018 semester.

Penn State’s Board of Trustees awarded a design-build contract to Turner Construction of Pittsburgh to develop the 65,000-square foot building. The company also managed the renovations and expansion of Erie Insurance Arena.

The design-build approach streamlines the construction process by involving both the architect and the builder from the start of the project.

The building will continue a tradition at Penn State Behrend, where all on-campus student residences are named for ships or captains that participated in the Battle of Lake Erie. It will be called Trippe Hall, honoring a one-gun sloop that fought a long-range duel with the British ships Lady Prevost and Little Belt.

The building will feature a cluster of individual bathrooms at the center of each floor. That design, modeled on the South Halls complex at Penn State’s University Park campus, provides additional privacy.

“It goes beyond the traditional residence hall in terms of privacy and convenience,” said Mike Lindner, director of Housing and Food Services at the college. “When you’re in that restroom, it’s your space.”

A portion of Trippe Hall will be designated for use by students in the Black School of Business. The building’s common areas will be designed and equipped to support entrepreneurial and collaborative student projects.

“Those common areas will facilitate interaction among students from different business disciplines,” said Balaji Rajagopalan, director of the Black School of Business.

Ongoing, all-hours interaction can be of particular benefit to students with an interest in international business, said Ken Miller, senior director of campus planning and student affairs.

“We want to create a living-learning environment where students from the Black School who have an interest in international travel can come together,” Miller said. “When students of different cultures engage with one another on a day-to-day basis, they are far better prepared to work in integrated global settings.”