Mount Nittany Medical Center Master Plan

A Master Plan for the Mount Nittany Medical Center in Cooperation with The Pennsylvania State University, prepared in 2007, updated for approval by College Township on November 19, 2009.


The Master Plan for Mount Nittany Medical Center is a joint effort between Mount Nittany Medical Center (MNMC) and The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the two owners of land within the master plan area. The plan provides a conceptual framework for the long-term development of the MNMC site, which will result in the establishment of a medical sub-campus at PSU’s University Park campus. The primary purpose of this Master Plan was to determine the building capacity for the site, and to evaluate whether this site could accommodate future growth of MNMC over the next several decades, with a plan that is feasible to implement, given the known constraints of the site.

The site established for this Master Plan consists of the properties owned by MNMC and PSU that are contained within Route 322 to the north and northeast, Park Avenue to the west, Orchard Road to the south, and Puddintown Road to the southeast. Two major building structures are currently located on the site: Mount Nittany Medical Center (MNMC) and Centre Medical Sciences Building (CMSB).

While future development within the master plan area may include the leasing of space to various third party tenants, the land is anticipated to ultimately remain in the control of Mount Nittany Medical Center and The Pennsylvania State University.

Project Goals

The following goals were established at the outset of this planning effort:

  • Identify opportunities for reasonable and flexible expansion of MNMC to accommodate:
    • Growth in outpatient services.
    • Increasing Emergency Department visits.
    • 30-40 year growth in service mix and utilization
  • Maximize potential building capacity of the site while maintaining a campus environment that is pedestrian friendly.
  • Develop a flexible health care oriented sub-campus while protecting delicate environmental resources.
  • Create a “sense of place”.
  • Identify and address current traffic and site circulation problems.
  • Address current functional issues with the helipad, emergency and service access, and an aging hospital infrastructure.

Project Challenges

The primary challenges and planning considerations for the plan included:

  • Consideration of challenges posed by the nature of the site, including:
    • Steep topography over a large portion of the site.
    • Stormwater runoff issues introduced by additional development.
    • Protection of water quality of PSU’s water wells  located on site.                        
    • Protection of sensitive environmental resources.
  • Preservation of land for agricultural uses on and around the site.
  • Impact of development on access, on-site circulation and off-site traffic.

Planning Principles

Planning principles and criteria were jointly developed by MNMC and PSU early on in the design process, identifying the most important issues to be addressed by the Master Plan. These principles provided focus to the effort, and helped guide the development of the Master Plan by providing a reference to measure the success of its recommendations:

  • Provide a vision for the future, by promoting a healthy and attractive campus environment.
  • Maintain and enhance the prominence of MNMC as the focus of the medical sub-campus.
  • Establish a build-out capacity for the site, utilizing appropriate scale and density.
  • Provide environmental stewardship; integrate landscape design with stormwater management strategies.
  • Consider a combination of surface parking lots and structured parking garage to provide appropriate solutions to parking on site.
  • Reconfigure traffic patterns to improve access, circulation and clear wayfinding throughout the site.
  • Plan for a flexible phasing strategy that accommodates unknown and changing needs.
  • Take advantage of the views toward Mount Nittany.