PSU architecture students envision a resiliency center (USGBC Central Pennsylvania)

Published on: 
5 Jan 2017
Jeffrey Allen

On Dec. 8, 2016, 23 fourth-year architecture students of Pennsylvania State University met with representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Lycoming County, and officials and citizens of the Borough of Muncy, Pennsylvania.

At this meeting, students delivered formal presentations about renovating the Mosely Opera House and adjacent properties in Muncy to serve as the Pennsylvania Resiliency Center of Excellence. The studio session was held at the LEED Gold Stuckeman School for Architecture and Landscape Architecture in University Park.

Working in groups of two or three students, each group developed floor plans, graphic renderings and 3D models of their ideas. They were given very broad guidance: Using the existing properties, how could they be redesigned to serve as a learning, research, reference and education center focused on resiliency?

The resulting eight plans were professionally done and very diverse in their approach to the problem. While some teams focused solely on the academic and education center, others incorporated more public space to include restaurants and markets. Almost all of the plans included public meeting space. The designs also incorporated the newest ideas of energy-efficient building design, incorporating solar panels, geothermal systems and rainwater collection systems.

Their designs will now be added to the Resilient Pennsylvania proposal that includes the recommendation of creating a Resiliency Center of Excellence and will assist decision makers in envisioning the potential for this facility. This partnership with Penn State serves as a great example of outside-the-box thinking by utilizing the efforts of these students at no expense to the taxpayers, while giving the students a practical problem to study for their senior projects and to add to their resumes.

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