Stakeholder Meeting Input Notes

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Staff Discussion Notes

General Building

  1. The building should be very high tech with ample connectivity.
  2. Filtered water fill stations desired.
  3. There should be display and bulletin boards in the common areas.
  4. A more welcoming environment to the building is a goal.  Oswald Tower is an example of the negative – this building does not have a good entrance or a welcoming environment.  All the programs are nationally recognized and the main entrance and common areas should reflect the quality of the people and programs within the new building.
  5. Swipe locks for the building entrance and all internal doors are desired.
  6. It was asked if the building would have light sensors for all the spaces.  This will be a design detail, but some of this might also be a LEED requirement.
  7. Signage and way finding will be important.  The installation of large information screens at locations to provide information and stream events was discussed.
  8. The inadequacy of HVAC systems in the existing building along with maintenance deficiencies, water penetrations and other realities of the dysfunction of the spaces were discussed.   With a new building these problems should all be addressed.
  9. Operable windows are required for the building.  This may be LEED requirement also.
  10. Natural light throughout the building, but with the right attributes and window treatments for the areas and spaces to support functional requirements.

Meeting and Social Spaces

  1. Nice conference rooms with light and flexible furniture conducive to large and small group meetings.
  2. Community spaces and ad hoc meeting spaces easy to access are required.
  3. Nice Kitchen/Break area with round tables and chairs.  This could be shared with all – faculty, staff and students. An area such as a common lunch/break area would bolster informal collaboration and build connection.  This type of area would be great for routine social inaction within and between the departments.  Some examples from the past were provided where administrators and staff often ate lunch together and how great it was for morale and team building.
  4. Meeting spaces should be multi-purpose and dividable if possible.  Acoustics will be important.
  5. Video conferencing is required as programs are working with colleagues beyond Penn State at other institutions.
  6. Gathering, waiting, and social spaces are desired for the entrance of the building and throughout the building as can be provided.

Office Space

  1. There will be a need to identify those spaces that should be private and quiet to support staff work requirements such as budget and human resources responsibilities.
  2. There needs to be a balance between open space and quiet work areas.
  3. Storage space is needed for office supplies and other needs.  This is extremely lacking in existing buildings.
  4. Separation of business machines from work spaces that are convenient but not causing disruption and noise for staff.
  5. There was discussion on the notion of housing the department offices in a common location within the building.
  6. The mail room for the building might serve for additional office support such as storage.
  7. There will be need to identity that there are three distinct departments within the building.
  8. Space for testing and make-up exams is always a problem.  The potential flexible use of office areas and the need for small private spaces were discussed.

IT Staff Discussion Notes

General Building

  1. Many of the comments were similar to the staff input such as the need for connectivity, more meeting areas, and social spaces.
  2. The space allocation for the building was questioned.  Since the programs continue to grow in staffing, faculty, students, and programs why wasn’t the space expanded beyond the current footprint for Sociology and PRI?    The need to prioritize space needs was communicated and that this was still early in the process.
  3. Some examples of how space might be used more efficiently was discussed – ie. – smaller offices with separate meeting spaces, use of modular space assignments such as making all the offices the same size, and new furnishings that are more functional and require less space per occupant.  Also mentioned was the provost’s input to have more open space and fewer walls in our buildings.
  4. Wireless throughout the building that works well with a high traffic load is required.  It was mentioned that the Burrowes project is including a robust wireless system.  The Liberal Arts central IT group had to work with the architects on the Burrowes project to assure this is the case for this project and will be involved in the new building IT planning.
  5. Access and security will be important details to address.  The students do work on a 24/7 basis and often use the computing and other facilities late into the nights especially on week days or prior to educational program deadline completions.
  6. Connectivity to the Burrowes Building was discussed.  A covered walkway to connect the buildings as an example.
  7. The need for a nice setting for the building was talked about.  The addition of a garden, seating and nice walkways is desired.
  8. Signage will be extremely important outside and inside the building.
  9. The installation of video signage boards and screens was discussed.  This type of system would become the responsibility of the departments to maintain and replace if installed.  By the time the building is constructed, this situation might change.
  10. The building should have an overhang to the building to provide cover during inclement weather.  It was noted that many of the new buildings do not seem to have this attribute.
  11. Temporary space plans for the occupants of Oswald Tower was discussed.  The actual location of temporary space will be confirmed later in the process, but the departments will most likely be in multiple locations when displaced until the new building is constructed.
  12. The change in the building environment was discussed.  Currently, Oswald Tower had more limited undergraduate student and public traffic.  With the consolidation of the departments in one building, there will be a lot more traffic in the building with the Anthropology Museum and undergraduate students in the department.
  13. The desire for more seating through the building was discussed.  Benches and other seating should be provided throughout the building for comfort, environment and convenience.

Meeting, Social, Project Spaces and Computing Areas

  1. The future of computer labs for our students was discussed.  Although many students have their own computers, iPads, laptops, and other devices the need for computing facilities for the students in the departments remain strong.  Often there is specific software that is not available in the general computer labs on campus.
  2. Computer lab spaces are often social spaces for the students related to or beyond their educational pursuits.
  3. The need for project spaces, small team meeting and available of spaces for ad hoc uses was discussed at length.
  4. The fast pace of change in the technology arena will be an on-going concern and focus.  What is the forefront of new technology today may be very different in five years.
  5. There is no requirement to provide any general purpose classrooms, but the Anthropology does now have departmental classroom space.  The need for classroom space for graduate seminars noted.  Multi-use of meeting spaces in the building might accommodate this need.

Office Space

  1. There will be need for work and office spaces for visiting scholars, faculty working with others on special projects and other ad hoc needs.  This will be difficult within the current space constraints.

IT Issues

  1. The fast pace of change in the technology arena will be an on-going concern and focus.  What is the forefront of new technology today, may be very different in five years.
  2. Liberal Arts has a central IT group whom manage all the Liberal Arts.  They will be very close in proximity, but will not have a permanent presence in the new building.  PRI has IT staff that will be housed in the building.
  3. There will be additional discussions between Liberal Arts and PRI on how to work together and address the university and departmental security issues and other IT protocol as needed.
  4. Although wireless network is anticipated for the bulk of internet access, it was noted that some computer jack connections will be required and located to accommodate 10 gig plus high speed transmission required for research purposes.

Advising Staff Discussion Notes

General Building

  1. Restroom accommodations are very inadequate in Oswald Tower.  It is understood in a new building restrooms will be sized to handle load, be adequate for both genders with family and unisex accommodations.

Meeting, Waiting and Common Spaces

  1. Provide a welcoming environment for the students waiting to see advisors whether via appointment or drop by.
  2. Provide waiting areas with comfortable seating.  Currently students must hang out in the hallways or seat on the floor.  At times there is a line down the hallway trying to get to speak with an advisor.
  3. The ability to display department information, brochures and other information is desired in the waiting area.
  4. Access to close ad hoc meeting areas for larger groups.  Students might bring parents and other family members, friends, team mates, classmates and other advisors or mentors.
  5. Common lunch/break area for all the departments with ample kitchen and seating would be very beneficial.  The advisors today mostly have to eat in their offices and are disconnected from other department faculty, staff and activities.

Office Spaces

  1. Offices should have windows
  2. Connectivity to the other staff in the departments would be very helpful.  Being located on the same floor, connected or close in proximity is desired.
  3. Provide control to the advisors office via a main suite with a receptionist/greeter.  Currently the advisors are located on a different floor in Oswald and there is no control for students to gain access to the advisors offices which are directly access from the hallway.
  4. Advisors do need a private office with at minimum two side chairs to be able to advise the students confidentially.
  5. Access to close ad hoc meeting areas for larger groups.  Students might bring parents and other family members, friends, team mates, classmates and other advisors or mentors.

Faculty Discussion Notes

The following are the general building discussions, desires and input from the faculty:

General Building

  1. Open space and light is desired throughout the building on all floors
  2. If any general purpose classrooms are in the building, addressing security to other parts of the building will be important.
  3. A front visible welcoming entrance is desired facing Old Main.  Main entrance should not be facing the back side of Pond. A nice high atrium with lots of natural light is needed.
  4. A roof top garden or green roof would be nice as a sustainable component and possible programmatic uses.
  5. Accommodations for bicycle parking, and shower and changing spaces are desired.
  6. A loading dock and service access is a concern for this constrained site, but will be needed.
  7. Restrooms for both sexes, and gender neutral should be on each floor.
  8. Access to the building will be required 24/7 for faculty and graduate students.
  9. Accommodating growth of staff, students, and faculty and research projects is a concern.  Space provided in the new building is at the same assignable SF or with very little expansion.

Office Space

10.  Faculty members will have private office spaces, and graduate students could be in more open office environments, but cube farms are not desirable

11.  Office and work space for visitor scholars to come for periods of time to collaborate on projects is needed.

Meeting and Social Spaces

12.  Seminar Rooms will be a high need demand in different sizes – Sometimes a need for more than thirty occupants.

13.  It is hoped to be able to share seminar/meeting rooms but there is a lot of need for both formal and informal meetings venues.

Museum, Labs, and Support Spaces

14.  The Anthropology Museum needs more identify and visibility externally with a nice entrance.

15.  Storage space for specimens, artifacts, equipment and collections is required.  Some storage could be remote to the building, but space will be required for items used routinely or for special projects and needs.

16.  High performance computing is a necessity to the disciplines, and grant restrictions and requirements regarding data analysis needs to be considered.  It is hoped that the University will have appropriate server space by the time this building is completed.  If not, the proper facilities in the building must be provided.

17.  Storage space could be in a basement, but it will be important to have the right environment to protect any valuable materials.  Water penetration and HVAC is a concern in a basement.

18.  If a basement is provided, the ability of some kind of underground access/tunnels might be a consideration.  Anthropology has a lot of artifacts and specimens that need to be cleaned, managed, transported and/or stored with special requirements.

19.  Dirty field work, equipment and collections need to be accommodated.

20.  Special backup and systems will be required for some equipment such as freezers and labs working with controlled materials.

21.  Accommodating growth of staff, students, faculty and research projects is a concern.  Space provided in the new building is at the same assignable SF or with very little expansion.

22.  Data intensive processes with federal requirements will require special treatments for security and back up services.

23.  A shared Media Commons facility in the new building is highly desirable.   This will support the students who are asked to create videos and other multimedia presentations as part of their coursework.

24.  Shared laboratory and storage spaces for Anthropology are needed.  It is recommended that a few major shared lab spaces with contained student/postdoc work spaces be provided for major areas of research specialization within the department.

25.  There is a desire to consider having a human gross anatomy dissecting facility in the new building.

Graduate Students Discussion Notes

General Building

  1. A nice lobby for gathering and waiting is something that does not exist in either of the buildings now.  This is something that has been noted by all of the groups and the lack of such a space is a big concern in both Carpenter and Oswald Tower.
  2. Covered bicycle parking somewhere close to a building or overhang to keep out of the weather is desired.
  3. Operable windows especially in office areas or where individuals spent a lot of desk time is highly desired.   A nice view from windows is always a positive.
  4. Restroom facilities on every floor for both genders are required.  Accommodations for a lactation room, gender neutral and shower facilities for bikers and other physical activity is desired.
  5. Building climate control and special HVAC requirements systems that actually work must be included.

Office and Work Space

  1. Having the staff located together so that the graduate students can interact easily with them would benefit both staff and students.   Often now staff are scattered throughout buildings.
  2. Graduate student offices with around 3-4 occupants would be best.  A maximum of six would be the most that should be in one office area.  Students often are teaching classes and have students come to see them individually or often in large groups that have to line up down the hall.
  3. Security of materials and lockable desks and cabinets is required within the graduate offices.
  4. A mixture of graduate students with different schedules, varying years, and different projects and work has been nice in the past.  Students are not in the offices at the same times, learn different perspectives and the students that have been within the program longer assist new graduate students.

10.  Some privacy for the graduate students that teach classes for individual advising or assistance within the grad student office areas is needed.

11.  Office machines such as copy, scanning, and other supplies that are located so that students can access 24/7.  Often now when offices close, these support services are not available to the graduate students.

12.  Waiting areas for students wanting to see graduate students teaching classes for up to thirty students would be great.

Meeting, Instruction and Social Spaces

13.  A multi-use large graduate meeting/assembly area is needed.  If this space could be close to the advisors, this would be beneficial.

14.  Social space with kitchenette, coffee station, and seating that is available 24/7 for students.

15.  Office machines such as copy, scanning, and other supplies that are located so that students can access 24/7.  Often now when offices close, these support services are not available to the graduate students.

16.  Emergency shower stations with floor drains in the labs or appropriate locations are needed.  Currently, if there is an emergency there will be gallons of water released without ability to drain.

17.  Computer labs are often now used as social areas, so possibly place some additional services such as copying and scanning in these spaces might work.

18.  Abundant White boards or other writing surfaces placed throughout instructional, office, common, and lab spaces would be very useful.

19.  Classrooms with some lab attributes such as sinks, secure storage, lab tables, and work space beyond the traditional tablet arm chair would be very good for instruction.

20.  Waiting areas for students wanting to see graduate students teaching classes for up to thirty students would be great.

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