At Grove City College, the work doesn’t stop when students leave campus for the summer. Even before the last residence hall was vacated, the College’s Operations Department and contractors were hard at work on more than a dozen large and small campus improvement projects.
The projects represent an investment of more than $4 million in the College’s physical plant in new construction, regular maintenance, improved infrastructure and cosmetic updates to what’s been called one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.
“Every year we look to the summer months as a time to take care of regular maintenance all over campus and take on bigger projects that would be a major disruption during the academic year,” James Lopresti, vice president for Operations, said. “The work we put in today goes toward extending the life of our current facilities and fulfills our duty to be good stewards of this special place.”
The most noticeable work this summer is a complete rebuilding of the College’s Walters/Zbell Tennis Courts on lower campus. The old courts, which were cracked, buckling and not up to today’s standards, were ripped out in early June, along with eight inches of surface. A new surface is being installed to create eight new regulation courts along with new drainage, fencing and sidewalks. The courts will be ready for play in the fall.
The tennis courts won’t be the only thing new on lower campus in the fall. The Class of 2018’s gift to their alma mater is a bold landscape feature that’s sure to become a focal point of the area. A circle of brick pavers featuring a large Grove City College crimson “G” will be added to the walkway to Rainbow Bridge. The engraved bricks will be laid down later this summer.
On upper campus, students and visitors will notice changes in the courtyard between Breen Student Union and the Hall of Arts and Letters, Hoyt Hall, which houses the College’s nationally recognized Engineering program, and the Physical Learning Center (PLC).
Elm trees in the courtyard that were ravaged by emerald ash borers were removed in June. New trees will be planted in their place and planters along both buildings are being restored, along with steps into the academic building.
The hallway and study area just inside Hoyt’s main entranceway are being refreshed to open up the space where aspiring engineers congregate and work on projects. Fresh paint and tile, new lighting and furniture will transform an area that hasn’t seen much work since it was built in 1966.
The PLC, home to the Athletic Department, is getting a makeover to highlight the College’s sports programs and student-athletes. A lighted marquee and new signage are being installed outside the main entrance to the building. Inside, the repainted entryway will be complimented with a massive photo mural stressing a “Wolverines Together” theme. The College’s arena is also being updated with an additional photo mural and new banners representing Grove City College and other schools in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
Students who return to campus in the fall are less likely to notice some major work that’s been done above and below. Steam lines that heat campus were replaced between Mary Anderson Pew and Mary Ethel Pew residence halls and roof work completed on the Physical Learning Center and Breen Student Union.
Also in the works: Fresh paint and new lighting in Ketler Hall; bathroom work in Mary Anderson Pew North Hall; street lighting around student parking lots; masonry work, rebuilding a retaining wall at the President’s House; repairing sidewalks and driveways as needed across campus; draining, cleaning and regrouting the recreation pool in the Physical Learning Center; replacing the fire curtain mechanism in Crawford Hall Auditorium; and remodeling part of Zerbe Health Center.
Work done on campus helps fuel the local and state economy, according to a 2016 study by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. The association estimated that Grove City College, its students and their families contributed nearly $140 million to the Keystone State’s economy annually and created hundreds of jobs.
Grove City College values stewardship and is committed to keeping the campus beautiful and functional for current and future students.