$8M Renovation Begins on Penn State Shenango’s Forker Lab

SHARON, Pa. – Work is underway on the $8 million renovation of Penn State Shenango’s Forker Laboratory, with work expected to be completed by the 2021 academic year.

Built in 1972, the building is home to faculty offices, classrooms and labs for all STEM and physical therapy classes, as well as the forum, the campus’ largest classroom. Construction will be done in phases and classes will continue in the building during the current school year.

“Forker Lab is at the heart of our campus, and this renovation will upgrade the building to match the high level that our faculty are already teaching at,” said campus director Jo Anne Carrick in a statement. “This renovation allows us to offer more diverse STEM courses to Shenango Valley students. We want to create jobs and keep people employed in the city of Sharon.” 

The renovation will include spaces designed for state-of-the-art learning tools, reconfiguring offices into clusters and a new undergraduate research laboratory. There will also be a new student lounge and study area.

“We want students to be able to study, complete group work, and relax between classes,” said director of business and finance Bill Dungee. “There isn’t a space for that now, so we created comfortable areas that allow students to stay in Forker and complete their work.”

For biology classes, the anatomy and physiology lab is designed to accommodate life-size Syndaver body models, the human bone collection and Bluetooth-connected electrocardiogram equipment.

The updated chemistry lab will have a new layout that better allows for hands-on learning, as well as a new classroom for organic chemistry. 

And the engineering area will house Penn State Shenango’s $1 million scanning electron microscope, 3D printers and a 3D scanner.

In 2014, Forker Laboratory underwent a $1.8 million upgrade for its physical therapy classrooms and laboratory.

Pictured: A rendering of the updated lobby at Penn State Shenango’s Forker Laboratory.

Source: Penn State News

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.