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College of Engineering Career Resources Office Transformation

New office suite supports career and employer relations services for engineering students.
  • Reception desk with two doorways leading to offices - Gannett Fleming.

    Renovations created a new main entry and reception area within the suite.

  • Small waiting area with interior hallway leading to offices - Gannett Fleming.

    The new floorplan features enclosed offices and interview rooms to provide privacy for students seeking career services.

  • Conference room with table separated from the room in the foreground by a glass wall - Gannett Fleming.

    Staff or students can utilize the new shared conference room in the adjoining suite.

  • Workroom with counters, a table, chairs and locking cabinets - Gannett Fleming.

    An adjacent workspace with storage lockers can be accessed by students after hours.

  • Ceiling grid with no ceiling tiles and exposed views of the mechanical and electrical systems - Gannett Fleming.

    Exposed ceilings provide views of mechanical and electrical systems, giving the space an industrial feel.

  • Hallway with monitor, signage, and lighting marking the doorway to an office suite - Gannett Fleming.

    A display monitor, signage, and special lighting draw attention to the suite’s new entrance.

Client
The Pennsylvania State University

Location
University Park, Pa.

Our Role
Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical

Data
Size
2,600 sq. feet
Construction Cost
$470,000
Completed
2017
Type
Renovation
Duration
6 months
Outcomes
  • Enclosed offices and interview rooms enable staff and employers to meet privately with students
  • An efficient layout provides flexible-use spaces and access to a shared conference room
  • New mechanical and electrical systems improve the comfort and energy-efficiency of the suite.

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 an available 2,600 square-foot space within the same building and hired Gannett Fleming to help transform it into the center’s new home. 

The existing open-plan office 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 work space. New finishes, along with mechanical and electrical improvements, make the renovated suite inviting and comfortable.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming architects worked with the university and its furniture supplier to confirm programming requirements and develop an efficient 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 that 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 ADA renovations to the men’s restroom and drinking fountain on the same floor.

Key Features

  • The conference room’s glass walls provide acoustic privacy and views into the student work area
  • 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.

Similar Projects: Architecture, Facilities: Electrical, Engineering, Engineering: Facilities, Education: Higher Education, Facilities: Mechanical