Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center at Penn State

Expanded Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center Provides Greater Opportunities for Community

Barton Education provided MEP design services for the renovations and building addition to the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center at Penn State. This was the first major facility upgrade in its 41-year history.

The project consisted of the alteration and addition to the existing Visitor’s Center, a new maintenance building, a new classroom Building, a new administrative wing, a learning pavilion overlooking the forest, a catering kitchen, and existing spaces transformed into dynamic “Discovery Rooms” to host exhibits and learning programs.

Design work included providing new HVAC, plumbing, lighting, electrical distribution, security, and telecommunications systems. Passive design solutions such as natural ventilation and daylighting were incorporated in the building designs as well as Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC system and Building Automation System (BAS) to allow flexibility and energy efficiency in day-to-day facility operations.

Barton Education also provided MEP design services for the second phase which included 14 new raptor enclosures for owls, falcons, buzzards, soaring hawks and eagles as well as a new 800 square-foot classroom building. 

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, founded in 1976, serves as a resource for the community and as a field laboratory for Penn State students to get hands-on experience teaching about the natural world.

The project earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Project Overview

total Sq Ft

8,800 sq. ft.

Total Cost

$5.8 million


August 2018

“Shaver’s Creek will be able to serve as a nationwide model for environmental centers and university field labs, allowing us to enrich the educational experience. We’ll now be able to build the future of environmental education and help prepare future generations to make informed decisions and choices that affect the natural world.”

– Mark McLaughlin, Shaver’s Creek Director

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