Student center opens at Mont Alto campus

October 05, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Penn State's Mont Alto campus boasts of having one of the oldest buildings in the Penn State system, a structure that started out in the late 1700s as a log cabin.

Wiestling Hall, as the building is called today, was rededicated Monday as the campus' new student center following a $206,000 renovation that began three months ago.

The student center occupies the first floor.

"The campus needed a student center," said campus spokeswoman Holly Cieri. "All they had before was a small game room in Conklin Hall."


The new student center has a small stage and a large game room. Cafe Java, a small coffee shop with Internet service, was built into a small side room.

Before the renovation, the first floor of Wiestling Hall was taken up with administration offices. More offices and the office of David Gnage, the chief executive officer at Mont Alto, was on the second floor.

Nearly all of the college's administration offices are now under one roof at Conklin Hall, Cieri said. An office suite was built for Gnage.

Before most of the administration offices were consolidated in Conklin Hall, students had to go to different buildings around campus for several offices, including admissions, registrar and financial aid.

Several administration offices still operate on the second floor of Wiestling Hall.

Tours of the new student center followed Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In 1807, a stone building replaced much of the original log structure. After the Civil War, the house was named for Col. George Wiestling. He ran the Mont Alto Iron Co. on the site of what is now the Mont Alto campus.

Through the years, Wiestling Hall has served as a dormitory, dining hall, classroom, student union and administration building.

The building was last renovated in 1994.

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