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The Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Center at Penn State York, over the course of the upcoming year, will receive a $13.5 million renovation, which will include general upgrades and an addition to the facility.

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at noon Tuesday behind the Ralph G. and Madeline B. Swenson Engineering Center of the John J. Romano Administration Building.

"The current Ruhl building has served the campus well, but it is undersized and outmoded in relation to both today's standards and the number of students now enrolled at the campus," said David W. Chown, chancellor of Penn State York, in a news release.

"A larger, more modern building will be a very welcome addition as the heart of our commuter campus."

The student center, which is currently 35,000 square feet, is expected to increase in size by 38 percent. The expansion is expected to include kinesiology, intramural and athletic spaces in the form of a multi-activity court. This will allow for off-season athletic practice and intramural activities as well as other activities, such as badminton and ballroom dancing. An additional fitness room also will be added to the center to better facilitate group activities and fitness classes.

Renovations and upgrades also are in the plans for the existing gymnasium, bathrooms, elevator, the facility's entrance, game room, kinesiology classrooms, student services offices and the concession stand area. The HVAC system also will be updated.

"The completion of this project will establish a collaborative and community-driven space that addresses a number of student needs," said Patrick Tanner, director of student and enrollment services, in a news release. "Not only will athletic, recreation, student club and food service spaces be enhanced and updated, teaching spaces will be revitalized for an entirely new experience."

The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2016.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

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