Board approves architect for Beaver Community Center project at Penn State Berks

Rendering of Beaver Community Center

An architect's rendering of the Beaver Community Center at Penn State Berks.

Credit: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With a continuously increasing student population and the need to support various programs, the Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning approved Atkin Olshin Schade Architects of Philadelphia, as the architect for the Beaver Community Center at Penn State Berks on Sept. 13.

The proposal was approved by the full board on Friday, Sept. 14.

The 28,000-square-foot Beaver Community Center was built in 1980 and includes space for a variety of programs, including athletics, kinesiology, physical activity courses, intramural programs and other recreational activities and events. Despite various renovations through the years, the facility is currently unable to meet the needs of the growing student population at Penn State Berks.

The Beaver Community Center project will be designed to address space inadequacies to support current and future programs offered to students, particularly within kinesiology, which is the second largest major at the campus. 

 “My colleagues and I are delighted that the Beaver Community Center project is moving forward. The BCC is one of the busiest buildings on the campus,” said R. Keith Hillkirk, chancellor at Penn State Berks. “This project represents a shared commitment on the part of the University and Berks campus, the Berks student body -- who have committed $1.3 million from the Student Facilities Fee -- and Housing and Food Services, who have committed $2 million.”

The Beaver Community Center is home to Penn State Berks' NCAA Division III athletics and kinesiology degree program. Facilities include a gymnasium, which also serves as a large gathering area, fitness center, exercise studio, athletic training and locker facilities, in addition to faculty and staff offices and research space. The center is named for the late Howard O. “Mike” Beaver Jr., who graduated from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in metallurgy and went on to serve as president and CEO of Carpenter Technology. Beaver chaired the Berks Campus Capital Campaign, which raised funds for the construction of the Community Center. The facility opened in 1979, supported entirely by private contributions. 

Atkin Olshin Schade Architects was approved based in part on their previous work. Examples include the McPherson Athletic and Academic Center renovation at the University of Mount Union, the Motion Analysis Lab in the Recreation Center and Human Performance Department of Old Dominion University and the Person and McGonigle Hall renovation at Temple University.