The School of Engineering’s (SOE) new home emerges from the adaptive reuse of the old steam plant on Prince Street at Shippensburg University.

The 2018 announcement of the addition of the School of Engineering inspired the reconditioning of the steam plant for new programs. Renovations began in January 2020, and the new facility is set to open in Spring 2021.

Shippensburg remains the only state university in Pennsylvania to offer degrees in Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Ship also features Software Engineering – one of only 26 accredited programs of its kind in the nation.

During the planning phase, the university contracted Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates to complete a comprehensive study for the SOE’s new facility. The study found conforming the civil and mechanical engineering programs into the abandoned two-story building feasible, thus leading to a more distinct vision of a modernized home for Ship’s accredited engineering programs.

Construction completely reworked the structure of the building to hold state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory space for mechanical and civil engineering students. The once dirty first level now includes a civil engineering lab, a fabrication lab, a manufacturing lab, and a welding area. Second-level labs hold more than enough space for machine dynamics and vibrations, thermal science, fluids, hydrology and materials.

Along with advanced equipment, the establishment displays Ship’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The steam plant once heated campus buildings until rendered useless after campus converted to using to natural gas. Shippensburg University remains the lowest energy consumer in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, but sails forward into an even greener future due to the sustainable practices implemented during the facility’s construction.

To make the building more energy-efficient, construction employed several environmentally friendly methods. First, they insulated all exterior walls with spray-in foam insulation, which better prevents air from escaping the building. Construction also replaced external wall windows with energy-efficient windows and ensured all the HVAC equipment held the highest efficiency rating created.

Shippensburg preserves the past by reusing an old building and propels into the future by transforming it into a state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly facility. In doing so, Ship paves the way for providing the best programs to promote student learning and development.

View the full press release from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.