West Campus groundbreaking ceremony to highlight new engineering buildings


By Tessa M. Pick

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Engineering will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to commemorate construction of two new West Campus buildings, West 1 and West 2, at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 16. The in-person, by-invitation ceremony also will be livestreamed for the Penn State community and general public.

Featured speakers at the event will include Penn State President Eric J. Barron; Matt Schuyler, chair of the Penn State Board of Trustees; and Justin Schwartz, the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean in the College of Engineering.

“Following in-person gathering limitations for more than a year due to COVID-19, we are excited to be coming together as a community to celebrate these milestone projects for the College of Engineering and Penn State at large,” Schwartz said. “West Campus is emerging as a true hub for engineering activity at Penn State, and these new spaces — along with future proposed initiatives that are part of the college’s master facilities plan — promise to further enhance our potential for societal impact for decades to come.”

West 2, for which construction began in fall 2020 following Board of Trustees approval, will include “cornerstone to capstone maker spaces;” general-purpose classrooms; academic unit offices, research space and teaching labs for the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs; and a modular high-bay research and instructional facility. Construction for the 105,000-gross-square-foot building, which will be connected to the newly opened West Deck, is expected to be completed by fall 2022.

The Board of Trustees approved the final plans and construction of West 1 in May. To be situated between the Westgate Building and Earth and Engineering Sciences Building, the 290,000-gross-square-foot building will feature general-purpose classrooms and academic unit offices, research space and teaching labs for aerospace engineering, architectural engineering, acoustics, and civil and environmental engineering. West 1 also will house offices for student support units, including the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion, the Center for Global Engineering Engagement and the Engineering Advising Center. West 1 construction is expected to be completed by fall 2023.


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close up shot of construction worker welding steel on the new west campus building

wide shot view of construction workers working to install steel beams for the new west campus buildings
Construction on West 1 and West 2 is currently underway, with expected completion dates of fall 2023 and fall 2022, respectively. IMAGES: PATRICK MANSELL