Penn State Brandywine prepares for its first residential students


MEDIA, Pa. — In August 2017, Penn State Brandywine will welcome its first residential students to campus. As move-in day approaches, the campus is preparing for the grand opening of its new residence hall and student union building.

Elizabeth Kearns, director of housing and food services at Brandywine, is working closely with Kenneth Matthews, senior project manager at C.B. Development Services Inc., to incorporate a variety of appealing amenities into the campus’ two new buildings.

The student union is a two-story, 31,000-square-foot building that will include student recreation areas, the campus bookstore, conference space, student affairs offices, and Blue Apple Café — the campus’ new dining facility, which will have seating for 300 students.

“We’ve been meeting with several vendors to make sure we have the correct equipment in place before construction is complete,” Kearns said. “For example, we had Pepsi come in and review our dining facility space so that we’re able to add a Pepsi Spire touch screen soda fountain to the café.”

Kearns said certain food stations in Blue Apple Café will also feature kiosk ordering. In preparation for installation, she’s working with University Park’s information technology department to build the correct software and purchase needed equipment for the project.

“We’re installing kiosks at the café’s deli station and Shake, Bake, and Brew — which will sell Starbucks coffee, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream, and Penn State Bakery items,” she said.

Blue Apple Café will also include a pizza station, grill station, salad bar, breakfast nook, and chef’s table. Kearns is currently developing a menu along with choosing dinnerware and flatware.

“We’ll be using an online menu system called FoodPro,” Kearns said. “Eventually, the menu will be posted online and students, faculty and staff will be able to check and see what we’re serving that day. Nutrition information will also be listed.”

The residence hall, named Orchard Hall, is a four-story, 73,000-square-foot building that will house 250 students and will include student recreation space. Each bedroom will have a small refrigerator and freezer, microwave, wardrobes, desks, chairs, and adjustable beds with storage space underneath.

“Choosing each piece of furniture in the residence hall is a very tedious process and includes a lot of small details, which is why we have a great team of professional interior designers supporting us,” she said.

“Residential students will be able to use a really neat system called Laundry Alert, which notifies students when their load of laundry is done,” Kearns added. “They can also log in to an app and see which washers and dryers are available. It’s important that we make sure we have enough power and data for the appliances and system while we still have open walls.”

Penn State Brandywine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is located on 112 acres in Middletown Township, Delaware County, with an enrollment of about 1,500 students. The campus offers two associate degrees, 12 baccalaureate degrees, and the first two years of more than 150 additional baccalaureate degrees that can be completed at another Penn State campus.


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Bill Tyson



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School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

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The Pennsylvania State University

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Phone: 814-865-2952