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Penn State mulls $50M facility for Harrisburg campus

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Penn State Harrisburg may be getting a new $50 million academic building.

The potential project would be funded under a $4.7 billion capital plan that was approved last fall by Penn State's board of trustees, according to a spokesperson for Penn State Harrisburg.

The new 60,000-square-foot building would provide classroom space to accommodate growing enrollment on the campus in Lower Swatara Township, said the spokesperson, Yvonne Harhigh. It has not been designated for specific academic disciplines.

The project would still require approval and hinges on successful fundraising, she added.

The university expects it will take five years to raise the $4.7 billion, which it said are needed to bring buildings and facilities statewide up to date.

"On the University Park campus alone, 65 percent of education and general buildings are more than 25 years old, and 40 percent are more than 50 years old," David Gray, Penn State's senior vice president for finance and business, said in a statement in September. "Older buildings were not designed to accommodate 21st-century needs, and many of our aging buildings are overdue for maintenance and modernization."

Of the $4.7 billion being raised between now and 2023, $2.1 billion is earmarked for the university's education and general fund, primarily to cover repairs, updates and construction on facilities at Penn State campuses around the state. The university said it will be replacing roofs, floors and HVAC systems; investing in information technology; erecting new facilities; and renovating existing ones.

The remainder of the funds will go to Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine in Derry Township, as well as other units, such as auxiliary and business services, intercollegiate athletes and an applied research laboratory.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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