Penn State Altoona is located in the central section of Blair County on a beautiful 171.5-acre tract of land, approximately a mile and three-quarters from the business district of downtown Altoona, where the college’s downtown campus is located. The following buildings comprise the physical plant of the College:
The five-story Aaron building is adjacent to the Devorris Downtown Center in downtown Altoona. The basement contains classrooms used for college and continuing education courses. Continuing Education offices and The Dining Car Downtown café are located on the first floor. The second floor houses offices for the business and accounting degree programs. The third and fourth floors house the Communications degree program suite and state-of-the-art Nursing labs respectively.
The fifth floor of the Aaron Building is utilized for events, meetings, and the lodging of distinguished speakers, award recipients, and special guests. The University has recognized a major gift from William and Janet Castle by naming this space The William J. Castle Executive Quarters. The bedroom suites, named the Sutter Suites, have been made possible by a gift honoring the lives of Richard C. Sutter and Dr. Sally A. Sutter.
Steven A. Adler Athletic Complex
The Steven A. Adler Athletic Complex contains two gymnasiums, an NCAA competitive indoor swimming pool, racquetball courts, multi-purpose rooms, weight rooms, a fitness loft, locker rooms, and faculty offices. In addition, the building houses offices for Intramurals and Recreational Sports, varsity coaches, the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics, and kinesiology. The outdoor athletic facilities include tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a baseball field, an all-purpose athletic field, a pond for winter ice skating (weather permitting), and Spring Run Stadium, home to an eight-lane, all-weather track, a soccer field, and a 2,000 seat grandstand.
The Beech House, situated on Gwin Road and across from Spruce and Cedar residence halls, houses the Office of Strategic Communications. Beech House features four offices, a reception area, a conference room, and a large patio deck.
The Penn State Bookstore
Located adjacent to the Slep Student Center, the Penn State Bookstore at Altoona is managed under contract with Barnes & Noble Bookstores, Inc.
Textbooks, course-packs, and supplies required by instructors for courses offered at Penn State Altoona, as well as apparel, gift items, reference books, and other items are available in the Bookstore. All merchandise pricing is reviewed and approved by the University, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships and student-related capital improvements.
Cypress Building houses several general classrooms and faculty offices. Cypress is located adjacent to the Ivyside Drive entrance of campus with parking in the Juniata Gap parking lot.
Devorris Downtown Center
Penn State Altoona currently offers a select number of classes at the Devorris Downtown Center, located on Twelfth Avenue in downtown Altoona. The Center is also home to a large movie theatre for college and public events.
Edith Davis Eve Chapel
The Edith Davis Eve Chapel, located across the reflecting pond from the Slep Student Center, is available for use by all faiths on an approved schedule. The Chapel contains a sanctuary with an all-faith altar, organ, piano, and choir loft. Elsewhere in the building are offices for campus ministry staff and a social room. In addition, a circular tower, approximately sixty-five feet high and adorned with stained glass windows, houses a fifty-bell carillon, which can be heard periodically throughout the day.
Robert E. Eiche Library
The Robert E. Eiche Library serves the research and course work-related needs of the college community. The library contains more than 62,000 books and 300 magazines and newspapers. The library’s staff supports the college’s educational goals through purchasing materials that meet curriculum needs, providing ways of locating these materials effectively, and offering special instruction sessions as well as scheduling class instruction sessions to help students improve their research and library skills.
Through the use of LIAS (Library Information Access System), users can access the online catalog (the CAT) to locate books, videos, and periodical titles in the Eiche Library. The CAT also provides access to resources in the entire Penn State system. Once identified, many of these materials may be requested, free of charge, online, or through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). LIAS also provides access to a number of electronic periodical indices and databases that cover a variety of general and subject-specific areas. Some databases contain full-text articles (the entire article may be read online) as well as citations and abstracts of journal articles. If a student needs an article from a journal that is not available at Altoona but is available at another Penn State location, the article may be requested through Interlibrary Loan at no charge. When working on projects or conducting research, feel free to ask any of the librarians or library staff for assistance.
The Elm Building contains offices for the heads and administrative assistants of Penn State Altoona’s four academic divisions
Environmental Resources Lab
The Environmental Resource Laboratories houses offices and labs.
Facilities and Operations
The 7,200 square foot Maintenance and Operations building contains offices for staff personnel, a reference library, a carpenter shop, a mechanical/electrical shop, a garage, and a warehouse.
Ralph and Helen Force Advanced Technology Center
Home of Penn State Altoona’s bachelor of science degree in electro-mechanical engineering technology, this building contains five state-of-the-art engineering labs: a machine shop/chemical lab, a manufacturing lab, a senior project lab, a controls lab, and a communications lab, as well as classrooms and office space.
The Hawthorn Building houses fifty-six faculty offices and twenty-four classrooms, including a music rehearsal room and three computer classrooms. The building consists of approximately 58,800 square feet. Of that total square footage, 10,000 square feet is dedicated to a computer center, run by the Office of Information Technology, with offices and classrooms to provide support to the computer center. The Hawthorn Building also contains general classrooms, seminar rooms, a lecture hall, the Pechter Family Music Room, a food service area, and faculty offices.
J. E. Holtzinger Engineering Building
This two-story building contains three engineering graphics labs, two physics labs, two biology labs, a greenhouse, and additional lab space for general use.
Kazmaier Family Building
The Kazmaier Family Building on Twelfth Avenue in downtown Altoona is home to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, a unit responsible for managing programs, events, and special initiatives that contribute to the advancement of the college through fundraising and alumni relations. With a gift from John P. and Deedra M. Kazmaier of Hollidaysburg, and John’s mother, Jane Patterson Kazmaier Lower, of Altoona, the college renovated the former WRTA building. The 3,500 square foot building connects to the Penn Building, as well as the Aaron Building and the Devorris Downtown Center.
The Larch House is a guesthouse that offers temporary accommodations for special guests.
Learning Resources Center
The Learning Resources Center adjoins the Eiche Library and provides tutoring and resources for students as well as the study away internship programs.
Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts
The Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts contains the 400-seat Paul R. and Margery Wolf-Kuhn Theatre, a large dance studio, a music classroom, two art studios, faculty offices, a Macintosh computer lab, and three conference rooms. The lobby area of the building also houses the McLanahan and Sheetz Art Galleries and the Titelman Study. The Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts hosts cultural and performing art series and theater productions, as well as special events throughout the year.
The Pine Building contains a three-dimensional art studio.
The Poplar Building is located at 236 Wopsononack Avenue, on the corner of Juniata Gap Road, and just a block before entering the Ivyside campus. It houses University Police, which is responsible for the protection of and service to its students, faculty, and staff. In addition, University Police is charged with the protection of property and maintenance of order as well as the enforcement of both the laws of the Commonwealth and University regulations. University Police has full law enforcement authority. University Police employs full-time, sworn police service officers. University Police provide protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Port-Sky Café contains a food court, two dining rooms, a special events room, and the Housing and Food Service Office. Mailboxes for the residence hall students are also located in Port-Sky. Meal plans, ranging from five to twenty-one meals per week, are available for students living off-campus, as well as the residence hall students. Tickets to all Bryce Jordan Center Events at University Park may be purchased in the Housing and Food Service Office.
The four coed residence halls—Oak, Maple, Spruce, and Cedar—provide accommodations for 901 students.
The Rider Building houses the Advanced Combustion Energetics Lab (ACEL) and a greenhouse utilized by Maintenance and Operations.
The Science Building contains three chemistry laboratories (one organic and two inorganic labs), auxiliary space for equipment, and a lecture hall that seats 117 students. The Science Building is connected to the J.E. Holtzinger Building.
The Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence
Through the generous donation of philanthropist, Penn State graduate, and businessman Steve Sheetz and his wife, Nancy, The Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence opened its doors in fall 2011. The Center’s mission—underscored by a deep interdisciplinary nature—is to develop entrepreneurial leaders and foster the creation of successful ventures within the Penn State Altoona community. It also serves as the home for Enactus. Enactus is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need.
The Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence includes Rossman Park (external to building entrance); Port-Sky South; the Brett Lobby; the M&T Vestibule; The Hite Company Lounge; the Michael and Gail Irwin Family Trading Room; the Young, Oakes, Brown & Company Conference Room; the Ferris Family Gathering Space; the mini-tradeshow room; The Enactus Business Advisory Board Business Incubator; as well as classrooms and conference rooms.
In 2017, the Altoona LaunchBox opened in the Gables Building in downtown Altoona. In 2018, the facility was renamed the Altoona LaunchBox supported by the Hite family, in recognition of a $1 million donation by local business leader and philanthropist Lee Hite and his family. In 2020, the LaunchBox was moved to the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
The Altoona LaunchBox supported by the Hite family is a no-cost startup accelerator and co-working space designed to provide early-stage startups with the support and resources they need to build a sustainable and scalable business and a viable plan for growth. The LaunchBox is part of the Invent Penn State initiative. Learn more on the Altoona LaunchBox site.
Sheetz Family Health Center
The Sheetz Family Health Center is home to Penn State Altoona’s nursing program and the student Health and Wellness Center. Student health services include routine medical care, women’s health services, STI testing, allergy and immunization clinics, outreach programming, disability services, and counseling and psychological services. The building also includes classrooms, faculty offices, and a small computer lab. The Sheetz Family Health Center is located on campus ground, directly off of Juniata Gap road across from Baker Lane, with its own entrance and public parking.
Harry E. Slep Student Center
The Harry E. Slep Student Center is the social focal point of the campus, serving as a recreational and relaxation center for students. On the first floor is the Division of Student Affairs, including Student Conduct, Student Diversity and Inclusion Programming, International Student Services, Off-Campus Housing, and the Center for Student and Civic Engagement. Also located on the first floor are two study areas, a large multipurpose lounge, convenience store, and student organization offices. The Career Services Office is located in 205 Slep Student Center.
E. Raymond Smith Building
As the main administrative building on campus, the Smith Building contains administrative offices, faculty offices, a switchboard and copy center, and classrooms. A student lounge is located in the center of the building. The Smith Building houses the Office of Academic Affairs, the Admissions Office, the Adult Center, the Bursar’s Office, the Office of Business Operations, the Chancellor’s and Dean’s Office, the Division of Undergraduate Studies, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of the Registrar, and the Office of Financial Aid.