DUBOIS, Pa. — The $17.3 million Physical Fitness, Athletics, and Wellness (PAW) Center renovation at Penn State DuBois began in August 2021, with funding provided by Penn State, philanthropic giving, and funds from the Student Initiated Fee.
Rob Liptak, the project superintendent for Alexander Building Construction Co., said he is pleased with the progress. Much of the large-scale renovation has been completed and the crew is in the finishing stages of the project, including roofing, tile work and flooring.
The industry-wide supply chain issues have provided challenges to the team, according to Liptak, but the team has been been proactive.
“The way the industry is right now, getting materials in a timely manner has taken a lot of pre-work, following up, making sure materials come when they're supposed to come. Then working on recovery plans, because most of it (hasn't come), then working in different sequences to make sure we can still meet our date,” said Liptak.
“As a team, we’ve spent so much effort on this project to get out ahead of things, and recovering from something that’s being delivered late has been a challenge,” said Justin Seltzer, project manager for Alexander.
Seltzer and Liptak said they have been exceptionally pleased with the team they have built to handle this project, including Penn State, sub-contractors and other vendors, and particularly the Penn State DuBois staff and technical services team. “Every time we’ve needed anything, they’ve been right there helping us out,” said Liptak.
One of the challenges in our industry is receiving timely information to keep things moving in the field. For the Penn State DuBois folks to step in and get us those answers quickly and when we need them, is huge.
—Justin Seltzer , project manager for Alexander
Seltzer continued, saying, “one of the challenges in our industry is receiving timely information to keep things moving in the field. For the Penn State DuBois folks to step in and get us those answers quickly and when we need them, is huge. Across the board, everyone has done a great job making sure information flow is efficient and timely.”
The upper level of the PAW Center will house the gymnasium; a multi-functional room for classes, presentations and events; space for coaches and student athletes; new restrooms; and athletic department offices.
The lower level of the PAW Center will include two sets of locker rooms; a brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center with locker rooms; and recreational space for students. It will also house campus health services, including nurse and doctor offices.
Additionally, accessibility has been greatly improved with the addition of an elevator between all floors, improved entrances, restrooms on both floors, and ramps. The building has also been equipped with new heating and air conditioning systems, a new roof, windows and more.
Alexander Construction recently held a safety day for the crew and those involved in the project. Workers were given the opportunity to do a virtual-reality safety training, followed by a cook-out in appreciation for the team’s focus on safety.
The PAW Center construction schedule is on track and the facility will open later this year. “It’s going to be a beautiful building and we’re excited to complete this project so the campus can begin using it,” said Liptak.