LEWISTOWN - It's one of the most photographed locations on the main campus at the Pennsylvania State University - the iconic Nittany Lion Shrine.
The shrine, a gift from the Class of 1940, was recently renovated as the class gift of 2012 graduates. The shrine is located directly across the street from Rec Hall and reopened to the public after a four month overhaul.
Dwayne Rush, the Project Manager for Design & Construction Office of Physical Plant at Penn State University, said this class of 2012 Class Gift Project had several intentions.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER SHANNON
Among the upgrades to Penn State’s Nittany Lion Shrine are better lighting and new stone from Mount Nittany around the statue.
First, Rush said there was the need to improve the accessibility to the shrine. A wheelchair accessible ramp now leads from the sidewalk to the area near the shrine.
Improving the lighting for safety and night-time photography also was taken into account when planning the project, Rush said.
There also is an interactive sign providing a history of the shrine and the Nittany Lion as Penn State's mascot, he added.
The project provided a more natural setting for the lion as stone from Mount Nittany was brought in, replacing the mulch that had been there previously.
Rush said they also wanted to preserve the original design and work of Heinz Warneke, who sculpted the Nittany Lion 71 years ago.
The new surrounding for the shrine was designed by Derek Kalp, a landscape architect who works at the Office of Physical Plant, and the work was completed
by master stonemason
"I was responsible for overseeing the project and coordinating the efforts of everyone involved. A large amount of work was also completed by various OPP crews," Rush said. "The stones used on this project came from several locations throughout central Pa., including Mount Nittany. They were selected, shaped and placed by Phil Hawk. The project took about four months of on-site work to complete and was open in time for the first home football game of the season," he added.