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Spectacular New Eastview Terrace Enhances Student Living

By Andy Elder, Student Affairs Writer

For years, visitors to State College traveling into town on College Avenue have been greeted by an almost-universal thought – where’s the Penn State campus? No more.

Instead of drab buildings sitting on an otherwise nondescript hill, an award-winning combination of classic architecture and inspired landscaping screams “This is Penn State!”

Eastview Terrace, Penn State’s new residence hall which welcomed students in late August, provides a stunning welcome to visitors approaching from the east.

From the brick-faced buildings with yellow wooden trim, to the black wrought iron fences connected to brick pillars to a majestic stairway leading up to a windowed archway, Eastview Terrace is eliciting rave reviews.

“This project sets a new standard for residence hall living not only at University Park, but in my opinion, across the country,” said Gail Hurley, Assistant Vice President for Housing and Residence Life.

Eastview houses 808 upperclass students in seven residence halls. Each student has a single room with a private bath, and each floor is divided into houses made up of eight to 22 student rooms. A study/social space and laundry facilities are located in each house. Students can choose to live in either a single-gender or coed house.

Predictably, student reaction has rivaled that of the administration.

“When I moved in everything was even nicer than I had imagined,” said Hillary Hillendeen, a senior animal science major who lived in Atherton Hall for three years. “When I saw the room I started jumping up and down. Having my own shower is really nice.”

Hillendeen’s former roommate, senior economics major Cathy Carre, echoed those sentiments.

“It was a lot bigger and prettier than I expected. I think they did a really good job with the landscaping and exteriors. I didn't expect that at all,” Carre said. “Having my own living space and bathroom makes the farther distance from classes worth it. It's really nice.”

It’s also quite an impressive collaboration of various elements. Those include:

  • 1.5 million bricks
  • 168,000 square feet of concrete
  • 9,000 separate plants, including trees
  • 331,000 square feet of building space
  • 123,000 square feet of roof shingles, comprised of 73,000 individual shingles
  • 4.6 million pounds of steel
  • 6.2 acres, or the equivalent of six football fields, of carpet
  • 2,224 doors
  • 37,000 square feet of mini blinds
  • 5,485 lights
  • 1 pedestal clock

Put it all together and the result has already won a Golden Trowel Award for excellence in masonry. And the landscape was designed by WRT, a landscape design firm which has recently been declared the best landscape design firm in the country.

As recently as early August, anyone passing by the project probably mused that there was just no way the complex would be ready to house students by the end of the month.

“I was shocked that they actually managed to finish it,” Carre said.

Hillendeen explained why.

“We lived in Hetzel during the summer and saw some of the development this summer,” she said. “There were a lot of rumors that it wasn't going to be finished (on time).”

But, according to Conal Carr, the Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life, the efforts of a group of dedicated, hard-working Penn State employees made it possible.

“The real success of the project and opening came because of our Housing and Foods housekeeping staff,” Carr said. “During the last two weeks of summer, we had around 80 cleaning staff on site each day preparing the buildings for opening. This was no easy task, but these individuals, who were working 10-hour days, brought everything together.”

Hurley agreed.

“Getting this place open on time took a colossal team effort on the part of Housing and Residence Life. I'm very proud of the staff and their dedication and hard work.”

The payoff has been the glowing reviews of students and parents alike.

“The parents’, and a number of them are alumni, reactions were very positive. I had three sets of parents jokingly tell me they wanted to move in with their son or daughter,” Carr said. “It really was great to be able to just hear all the positive comments from the students and parents on opening weekend. I asked almost everyone I passed during the first few days what they thought of the rooms and the area in general. All of the comments were very positive, with words like wonderful, great, and amazing.”

Hillendeen uttered perhaps the best endorsement of all.

“I would recommend Eastview Terrace to anyone who could get in,” she said. “I would definitely recommend it above moving off campus.”

See more photos of Eastview Terrace.

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Updated September 17, 2004
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