The Pennsylvania State University announced on Oct. 15 that it selected a joint venture of Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt and Harrisburg, Pa.-based Alexander Building Construction Co. as the construction manager for its $700-million Beaver Stadium renovation project. The plans call for reconstruction of the football stadium’s west side, among other improvements.

Penn State also picked Populous as architect for the project. University leaders said they used a competitive process with assistance from consultant Nations Group to choose the firms. 

The university highlighted the contractors’ past experience working with each other on stadium projects, and said they selected Populous because of its background with stadium designs such as Texas A&M University’s Kyle Field and the under-construction Buffalo Bills stadium

“These companies have a strong history of both renovating and building college football and NFL stadiums,” Patrick Kraft, Penn State’s president for intercollegiate athletics, said in a statement. 

In May, the Penn State Board of Trustees approved a $70-million expenditure for the project’s first phase. The scope of that work includes structural maintenance, improvements to boost safety, security and field lighting performance, plus winterization that the university says will allow it to host College Football Playoff games as soon as 2024. 

Future work would include reconstruction of the west side of the stadium, code upgrades, accessibility improvements and amenity upgrades, according to Penn State. Construction of that phase is scheduled to begin in January 2025 and complete in time for the 2027 football season. 

University leaders say Beaver Stadium has a backlog of deferred maintenance totaling more than $200 million. This would be the first major renovation to the facility since a 2001 project that added 60 skyboxes above the east stands and brought the stadium’s capacity to its current 106,572.

Penn State emphasized that its athletics program is funding the work without using any tuition dollars or educational budget. The initial $70 million is from a bond sale.