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COUNCIL: State of the University

October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09

Anne Papageorge

Penn Connects is nearing the end of Phase 1 of the Sasaki Campus Development Plan as defined in 2002, at least chronologically from a time point of view. The good news to report is that we are well along in completing many of the projects in Phase 1, and if we haven’t completed them, we are actively in design and construction on the remainder of the projects in Phase 1.

In Phase 2, we have already completed some, so we are early for Phase 2 projects, and are actively in the planning and design stages on many of those projects, spanning a timeframe through 2015.

Completed projects–I’m not going to go into the details on these because I’ve reported on them before, but we have a broad range of projects from our residential ground lease development projects, the college house renovation project, some of our academic buildings, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, and as Dr. Gutmann mentioned, the athletic facility, Weiss Pavilion was finished this summer.  

In construction–I will focus more on these, we have the Penn Medicine Complex, which continues the research building, is well along the road to completion and will be occupied in the beginning of next year.  The additional three floors that were shelled are also advancing in design, which was approved at the last Trustee meeting. The Roberts Proton Therapy Center opened last year, so this facility is moving right along and I’m happy to say that the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine actually received a LEED Silver rating, which is really an incredible feat given that it’s a clinical building that has significant mechanical demands. We are proceeding with that LEED target for the Translational Research Center.

The Post Office development also has achieved a significant milestone in the completion of the renovation of the historic post office. The IRS began moving in to that Brandywine Realty Trust development starting in September and their move-ins will continue through the end of the calendar year. The garage is on our site; the Annex parcel is open and complete as of September.

Penn Park—if you are walking down Walnut Street, you can certainly see the activity that has occurred over the summer. All of the below grade structural work is in, all of the storm water harvesting is in, and now you are starting to see the land forms being created. The Paley Bridge was taken off site recently to be repaired and painted. It will no longer be a ‘blue bridge,’ so those of you who call it the Blue Bridge will now call it something else. We are on target for completion of Penn Park in August of next year and the air structure later in the calendar year.

Golkin Hall—while you were away in the summer, if you were away—Pepper Hall was demolished and the foundations and steel installation has begun. This project is moving right along to completion a year from this December. This also is targeting a LEED Silver certification.  Actually the Goat is being accelerated and will be complete in January.

Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall—over the summer, Reprographics was renovated to a new facility and the interior and exterior café project continues. In November it will be complete with a new 14,500 square foot renovation addition with outdoor terrace and dining for the entire campus community.

Starting late last month, we began renovation of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This is about a 7,000 square foot project; the designers are creating a multipurpose room that can be used for exhibits and lectures, opened up for receptions and allow activities to cohabitate with the rare book room function in a more comfortable way. We plan to finish this project by August, in time for the next academic year.

The Penn Museum is also feverishly working to complete a renovation of part of their facility in order to receive the Silk Road exhibit, and this is, according to Richard, moving well. We will be finished in December in preparation for the arrival of the exhibit.

In design stage, we continue to move along on the Singh Nanotechnology Center. We have recently completed design development and are starting construction document. There will be several early packages with construction beginning in January of next year, with an expected completion in December 2012, at which time the occupants of the Edison Building will move into the new building, and then we will demolish Edison to create a wonderful four-court plaza. This is a gateway building that is really important to bridging our movement eastward and really animating Walnut Street east of 33rd Street. Penn Park will then continue that movement. 

Shoemaker Green—After this week’s Trustees meeting, we will have new images—will become a new open space. Once the new tennis courts in Penn Park are completed, we will be demolishing the existing tennis courts that sit outside of the Palestra and Franklin Field to create a new open, passive recreation space for our community.  We just finished design development. This is what is called a sustainable site pilot project.  We’ve been selected out of many applicants for a new pilot program to do with site projects what has been done with building projects, to be able to rate them for their high performance features. So we are planning to start construction as soon as the tennis courts are open in the summer of 2011, and will be complete with Shoemaker Green in approximately a year from then, in time for the following academic year. 

And then Dr. Gutmann mentioned our recent acquisition of the Dupont Marshall Research Lab. This is a wonderful acquisition, just across the river from our campus where we have our chilled water facility and some of our athletic fields.  Initially, by the end of this calendar year, we will be moving Transportation and Parking over to Marshall to make room for the Nanotechnology Project and we are beginning a series of discussions with many of the Penn community who are interested in initially relocating support functions: storage and things of that sort, that currently occupy more valuable space. By moving the support functions toward this facility we will allow for more expansion of academic functions within the core of campus. In addition, SRDC, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, is continuing the trail on the Center City side along this parcel and we are in discussions with SRDC to support that effort. 

Between 2012 and 2014, we will be complete with all of these projects listed except for three projects remaining, having advanced in design: the new College House, the ARCH, and Neurobehavioral Sciences. But for these we are waiting for naming gifts, which is a perfect segue to John.







Almanac - October 26, 2010, Volume 57, No. 09