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PA Game Commission builds new regional office near Spring Creek Canyon in State College area

The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to close its Jersey Shore office and build a new Northcentral Regional Office near Spring Creek Canyon in Benner Township, Centre County. The new facility will allow the agency to better serve the public, the report said.

Dave Gustafson, director of land and wildlife habitat management for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said the current Northcentral Regional Office in Jersey Shore is over 50 years old and has cost over $300,000 in emergency repairs since 2016. He said when the Game Commission was looking at options for the office, the State College site was not an option because of its location.

“When we looked at the need for a new regional headquarters, we thought, man, this would be the perfect place,” Gustafson said.

The site is off I-99, near I-80, and close to State College. And it's close to Spring Creek Canyon.

The canyon was part of the State Correctional Institution on the Rockview property and was closed to the public. However, as part of an agreement and legislation, about 1,800 acres of land were transferred to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, with a portion going to the Fish and Boat Commission, Penn State and Benner Township. Of that, about 1,200 acres were transferred to the Game Commission. The canyon was opened to the public in 2011.

Gustafson said the Game Commission consulted with members of the technical advisory group formed after the land transfer about the construction project.

“We were very careful in planning the location of the building,” he said. “We didn't want to affect the scenic beauty or the recreational value of the canyon. We knew that we weren't going to put a building in the canyon or interrupt that natural corridor. We didn't want to do that. We didn't want to take away wildlife habitat.”

The office will be built off Shiloh Road, near I-99, where a parking lot is also located. The project is estimated to cost $20 million and take 18 months to complete. Gustafson said the Game Commission hopes to begin construction in 2025.

He said the Game Commission, as a state agency, is not subject to local regulatory oversight of the development but is part of the land development review process.

Anna Harden

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