The Shippensburg University Steam Plant produced steam as the main source of power for the campus from 1952 until 2014 when it was put out of functional use and the campus converted to natural gas – the building, nestled at the entrance to campus below Old Main sat empty for years, until now. It was the 2018 announcement of the addition of a School of Engineering to the University that sparked the idea of adaptively reusing the steam plant for the new programs. The University then contracted Crabtree, Rohrbaugh to complete a comprehensive study for the entire School of Engineering to explore the feasibility of inserting the proposed Civil and Mechanical Engineering program into the old structure. The study provided a solution to fit the 12,000 SF program within the abandoned high volume shell on two stories.
The proposed programming, of the $3.2 Million facility, includes multiple working labs that will be accessible to students on a 24-hour basis. All labs have glazing to allow visitors and students to see the activity within the lab spaces as they move throughout the building.
The ‘dirty’ lab spaces are located on the first floor which include the Civil Engineering Lab, Fabrication Lab, Manufacturing Lab and Welding Area. The Civil Engineering Lab and Manufacturing Lab share a common Fabrication Lab accessible from each space via glass sectional doors. The Manufacturing Lab also has a Welding Area directly adjacent.
The ‘clean labs’ which include Machine Dynamics & Vibrations, Thermal Science, Fluids, Hydrology and Materials Testing are located on the second floor. The common student space is located within the atrium at the front of the building adjacent to two open staircases. The School of Engineering is branded throughout the spaces.
The hallmark of the Shippensburg University’s mission is to provide student learning and personal development through highly effective and innovative teaching, complemented by a wide variety of out-of-class experiences. Founded in 1871, Shippensburg offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees and is home to 20 NCAA athletic teams. Located in South Central Pennsylvania, the University is committed to public service and community-centered in its relationship to the region.