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Ritenour Building to be collaborative student space for College of Science

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19 November 2015

In an effort to better serve student needs, the Eberly College of Science will renovate the Ritenour Building on the University Park campus to consolidate and expand student support services for undergraduates in the college. The Board of Trustees Finance, Business and Capital Planning Committee on Thursday (Nov. 19) approved the final plans and authorized the expenditure of funds.

Approximately 21,000 square feet of space in Ritenour will be renovated for the Eberly College of Science’s Ritenour Student Center. The ground floor will be updated to accommodate a collaborative learning space, private learning labs, a meeting room, a refreshed conference room, as well as building support spaces. There also will be a "one-button studio," a simplified video recording setup that allows students, faculty, and staff to create high-quality and polished video projects. In addition, the first floor will contain the new college Office of Science Engagement, Office of Digital Learning, Undergraduate Future Students Office, and the Center for Excellence in Science Education, while the second floor will be renovated to house academic advising offices for life sciences students.

“For the first time, the Eberly College of Science will have a central space solely dedicated to supporting our students. The open, collaborative spaces in Ritenour will be accessible to 3,500 students in the college around the clock, seven days a week,” said Mary Beth Williams, senior associate dean in the college. “We anticipate students from other colleges, particularly other STEM colleges and DUS, to also benefit from the collaborative learning spaces, advising, and engagement opportunities that are the highlight of the building.”

Other modifications that are part of the project include excavation for a new courtyard outside the ground floor entrance and a sidewalk to a new 24/7 entrance off of Shortlidge Mall. The total project budget for the Ritenour Student Center is $6.5 million. The funding will come from gifts and Eberly College of Science reserves.

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