STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Nittany Lion Shrine at Penn State University has been closed for renovations.

The university on Monday officially closed off the popular statue, where students and alumni flock to have their picture taken with the school mascot. The shrine is being closed for improvements that include improved access, new sidewalks and a ramp to help make it handicapped accessible.

Penn State spokeswoman Laura Stocker tells the Centre Daily Times ( ) the improvements are a gift from Penn State's Class of 2012. Officials say the class has donated $170,000 for the project so far.

Preliminary work began April 15, but the shrine reopened briefly for graduation photos.