Village at Penn State – Palmer Park
State College, PA
Hospitality was the focus of this project, which implemented long-anticipated updates to the community center and outdoor amenities for this University-based retirement community. Opened in 2004, the Village at Penn State had not implemented planned second phase additions until after merging with Liberty Lutheran Services in 2012.
A Unique Partnership Creates Palmer Park Outdoor Amenities
Palmer Park is a first-of-its kind fully landscaped park and gardens, featuring professionally contoured golf putting and practice areas, a village green and a multi-purpose area. Designed and completed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, Palmer Park includes a nine-hole putting course plus a couple of additional holes that bear all the aspects and storied history of the Arnold Palmer signature brand. The synthetic green requires less maintenance than grass, particularly factoring in the region’s sometimes challenging weather conditions.
Palmer Park is complemented by adjacent gardens, walkways and a bistro terrace for al fresco dining. The terrace features a pergola system for sun control as well as outdoor dining and fire pit seating. The park includes a grass lawn area for natural wellness activities such as croquet and yoga, or special events; a town-square type clock; and a bocce court.
Implementing Phase 2 Community Center Additions
The community center was designed in Phase 1 to function effectively when the Village opened, but was planned from the start to be reoriented and expanded as the community grew. The expansion provides a centralized community hub that creates the desired entry experience and connects resident living spaces with amenities and services. A new entry drive and porte cochere lead into the commons addition which includes a new main lobby, reception, and marketing suite. The existing library was renovated to expand views from the lobby towards Penn State University’s neighboring Beaver Stadium. Additionally, existing corridors received fresh finishes, and the former multi-purpose space and creamery have become the bistro, a new casual dining option featuring a hearth oven and display cooking.
The final piece of the puzzle is a new one-story, 6,200 SF community building. At the center of this building is a 165 seat multipurpose auditorium with raised stage to host, among other things, on-site Road Scholar classes and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes. This community gathering space also serves as a conditioned connector between the existing skilled care building, personal care household and the rest of the Village at Penn State community. Other than the cottages on the perimeter of the campus, all buildings are now connected as a result of this community building addition.