Penn State College of Engineering Career Resources Office Renovation
NEW OFFICE SUITE SUPPORTS CAREER AND EMPLOYER RELATIONS SERVICES FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Our Client’s Challenge
The College of Engineering’s Career Resources and Employer Relations office provides career advising to more than 10,000 Penn State undergraduates in engineering-related majors.
As its staff expanded to meet the needs of students and potential employers, the department needed a larger office space to support these services. The university identified 2,600 square feet of space within the same building and hired Gannett Fleming to transform it into the center’s new home.
The existing open-plan office design with cubicles didn’t support the way Career Resources staff work with students. Designers reorganized the space by relocating the suite’s main entrance, creating a new reception area, and constructing enclosed offices and interview rooms where advisors and employers can meet privately with students.
The new layout gives the staff access to a shared conference room in an adjacent suite that serves as a student workspace. New finishes and office furniture, along with mechanical and electrical improvements, make the renovated suite an inviting and comfortable work environment.
Gannett Fleming architects worked with the university and its furniture supplier to confirm programming requirements and develop a floor plan to use the available space efficiently.
Several existing doorways leading into the suite were filled in, and a new main entrance was created. Designers added a new soffit, accent lighting, and signage to highlight the entrance to the suite within the building’s main hallway. Display monitors featuring upcoming career events and department news were mounted along the hallway in recessed areas left by the infilled doorways.
The adjacent suite contains a student work area that can be accessed after hours. The team saw an opportunity to renovate this space and connect it to the Career Resources office so faculty and students can share an adjoining conference room.
Gannett Fleming’s engineers designed upgrades to improve heating and cooling, meet outside air requirements, and provide new lighting. The team also created a new kitchen for staff use and designed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) renovations to the men’s restroom and drinking fountain on the same floor.
- The conference room’s glass walls provide acoustic privacy and views into student work areas.
- A separate entrance allows students after-hours access to their workspace while the office remains secured.
- Exposed ceilings showcase building systems and give the space an industrial feel.
- New lockers in the student area provide convenient, secure storage for student work.
- Display monitors and new hallway signage highlight the Career Resources suite.
Awards & Recognition
- Award, 2020, info here.
- Enclosed offices and interview rooms enable staff and employers to meet privately with students.
- An efficient layout provides flexible-use enclosed and open spaces and access to a shared conference room.
- New mechanical and electrical systems improve the comfort and energy efficiency of the suite.
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pa.
Architecture, Buildings Systems Solutions