Parkmill Renovation
Author: Bryce Henry, Capital Projects and Construction
Posted: May 3, 2019

In 2018, Parkmill underwent a $1.7 million renovation that added a new elevator, several new classrooms, reconfigured the basement, and improved the plumbing and HVAC systems. Parkmill has never had an elevator, so access to the School of Gender Race and Nations and 2nd floor classrooms was limited to folks who could use the stairs. The new elevator not only provides access to the 2nd floor, it also provides access to the basement which was converted from storage space to a dynamic learning environment with 4 classrooms and a student lounge. The Student Fee Committee dedicated $200,000 of Student Building Fee funds to the project, with the remainder coming from state funds that are allocated to the seven public universities for capital improvements in academic buildings.

Aside from the lack of an elevator, one of the major accessibility issues in the basement was an excessive number of stairways. Prior to the renovation, the building had 8 separate sets of stairs beyond the 2 required for building egress, including 3 in the main corridor which effectively cut-off over half of the building for universal usage.

Combining careful architectural planning and innovative engineering, PSU's Capital Projects & Construction departmental staff were able to activate around 80% of the basement for all users. Their designs removed multiple stairs, converted the existing central corridor into a sloped ramp, improved airflow throughout the building, and configured a location for the elevator that minimally impacted usable space.

Other improvements to the building included new carpet, paint, lighting, stair treads and handrails; four new and improved classrooms; furniture for the student lounge area; and updated flooring throughout the building.


Parkmill basement before the renovation:

Parkmill Basement stairs before renovation

Parkmill corridor before renovation

Parkmill basement after the renovation:

Parkmill stairwell after the renovation Parkmill stairwell after the renovation