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A new state-of-the-art facility replaces PSU Behrend’s outdated recreation center and provides a central location for the campus’ wellness needs

Penn State Behrend Erie Hall Recreation and Wellness Center

Penn State Behrend
Erie, PA
53,000 SF
Weber Murphy Fox
LEED Silver certified
Additional Services
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Completed 2023

Sasaki, in collaboration with Weber Murphy Fox, is working with Penn State to create a dynamic recreation and wellness facility on their Behrend campus. The new building will create a campus gateway that will become the cornerstone of a future campus green while simultaneously meeting the recreation and wellness needs of the student body.

The program is organized into neighborhoods, designed to make the spaces feel accessible to students at all fitness levels. These spaces include fitness zones, group exercise rooms, a dedicated spin room, coaches offices, a two-mat wrestling room, locker rooms, and a three-court gym. Additionally, the facility will house the counseling and wellness programs that serve the entire Behrend campus community.

Building Location

The new building replaces the existing Erie Hall which was the college’s original gymnasium. To ensure that it will support long-term campus growth, Sasaki’s site team developed a district master plan that creates a gateway presence for the new building on the Behrend campus.

Building Organization

A public concourse mitigates the slope of the site, running north-south from the main parking zone into the heart of the campus. An entry lobby at both ends creates a welcoming atmosphere from either side of the campus. The design team situated an active program of cardio and fitness space at the south facade to activate the future quad with an outdoor canopy over a new entry plaza. This connector will give thousands of students visual access to the activities happening within the building, advertising the value of health and wellness to all who travel through the facility.

Fitness neighborhoods throughout range in character from private to more public to make all feel welcome, no matter their level of fitness. In addition, the design team located the personal counseling center in a visible portion of the facility, on the southeast corner, while maintaining privacy needed within those spaces.

The project is currently in design and is expected to open in January 2023. To see a preview of the new building, watch the animation below.

For more information contact Bill Massey.

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