Staff from all areas of the Office were involved in the various aspects of planning and outlining the requirements of this space, which sees approximately 30,000 visitors (prospective students/families) a year. It was determined that in order to put the best face on Penn State, this “front door” of the Admissions Office would require new flooring, paint, window treatments, furniture, and technology upgrades.
A classic, new and more comfortable waiting area was created on the second floor of Shields Building, including a small coffee area. Previously, large overstuffed furniture limited the flexibility of furniture arrangements, and the coffee maker was hidden in an unused coat closet.
The hallway from the front desk to the restrooms (halfway around the building) was repainted and large, dynamic photographs depicting life at all 20 Penn State campuses now line the walls.
The storage room behind the front desk was re-configured to be a more efficient use of space, and the old film projector window was walled up.
The main presentation room (207) was outfitted with a dual-projector system which allows for better visibility from all seats in the room. Modern automatic window shades replaced the old, heavy draperies and metal window blinds. The seating for visitors was upgraded to be more comfortable, but also look light and airy. About half of the chairs have arms, which provides more support for the visitors. Base cabinets were added along the back wall of the room as well, providing additional storage as well as a countertop for materials or refreshments.
Two office conference rooms (205 and 101F) are used as breakout rooms during certain presentations, and were upgraded with new finishes and window treatments. A “smart” table in 205 allows for multiple power and Ethernet connections for training events and meetings, as well as Breeze or Skype connectivity.
Suite 101 had been empty for several years, but will now serve as the official Welcome Center and first stop for anyone visiting Shields Building. A new glass door is more approachable than the massive wooden doors at the entrance to the suite. Students and staff at the welcome desk will provide directions and other assistance to anyone looking for the many student services in the building (Admissions, Bursar, Registrar, and Student Aid).
This suite also houses the Visitation & Student Volunteer Team, which includes two graduate assistants, two admissions counselors, an Assistant Director, and a staff assistant. Student interns working on visitation programs are also housed in the suite. This is also the “home” of the two student volunteer groups that work with Admissions programming – Lion Scouts and SMART (Student Minority Admissions and Recruitment Team).
- Lynn Koehler, Overall Planning and Coordination
- Jennie Daley, Photography/Art
- Lisa Homan, Front Desk coordination, space usage analysis
- David Kuskowski, Planning
- Jenni Mahute, Décor/design, space usage analysis
- Anne Rohrbach, Design, Planning, Approvals
- Vince Timbers, Technology
- Carol Walker, Design, Planning