By Chuck Powers

The Penn State Board of Trustees voted 26-2 (with three abstentions) to approve the remaining $630 million needed for the Beaver Stadium renovation project.

Total project costs will not exceed $700 million, with $70 million of that having already been approved by the board last May. According to administrators, the current projected budget sits at $664 million. Penn State athletics would be required to return to the board for approval of any funding that exceeds $700 million.

The project will be paid for entirely by athletics and will not use any tuition funding.

Numbers aside, Penn State offered more insight into some of the actual changes and upgrades that Beaver Stadium will experience over the course of the project, which is being designed by architecture firm Populous. Broadly, the renovations will including improved circulation, new restrooms, upgraded concession offerings, Wi-Fi, and additional premium seating options. The west side of the stadium (the one closest to campus) will be the main focus of most of the structural changes.

More specifically to the infrastructure of the stadium, Penn State athletics noted in its presentation to the Board of Trustees that the current plan calls for the addition of 24 elevators, 12 escalators (some of which will be on the east side of the stadium), four additional stair towers, a 15% increase in bathrooms and a 70% increase in concession “points of sale.” Concourses will also be substantially widened.

As it pertains to seating, loge boxes and premium suites are the main addition to the stadium’s west side.

The project also includes a new 21,000-square-foot welcome center for events and other uses, such as student recruitment of both athletes and non-athletes alike.

Some ongoing projects related to the installation of a new super ribbon scoreboard and the winterization of the stadium have already long been underway and are folded into the initial $70 million approval. Substantial construction on the west side renovation is anticipated to begin in January 2025.

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