Penn campus undergoes summer facelift

Campus Construction

Scott H. Spitzer

Construction crews at work on the $5.4 million renovation of Locust Walk.

With bulldozers and heavy machinery at work, Penn’s main walkway is undergoing a $5.4 million renovation this summer.

Locust Walk’s makeover is not a simple repaving, but a complex series of infrastructure improvements, including the installation of electrical conduits and new chilled water lines, as well as the replacement of a concrete slab that lies beneath the surface. Underground combined storm water and sewer lines, gas mains and laterals, and domestic water mains are also being replaced in collaboration with the city.

Campus Construction

The work being done on the 3600, 3800 and 3900 blocks of Locust Walk is only one of many construction projects taking place on campus. The projects include a mix of new additions, renovations, routine maintenance and the completion of Penn Park at the eastern edge of campus.   

Campus construction projects include:

The Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology: This new $88 million home for cutting-edge technological research on the 3200 block of Walnut Street should be completed in 2013.

The Law School’s $33.6 million Golkin Hall: Housing administrative and faculty offices, a moot courtroom and a 345-seat auditorium, this addition is under construction on the 3400 block of Sansom Street, where a simultaneous $2.2 million wiring project is relocating utility lines underground.

Vance Hall: Wharton’s $4.7 million renovation of first and second floor offices and restrooms should be completed by year’s end.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center: A flexible special collections center for exhibits, receptions or classes is the crown jewel of this $6.8 million expansion/renovation, which also includes a study lounge. This project is expected to be completed in September.

Information Commons at Franklin Field: The shell space enclosed when Weiss Pavilion was built in the stadium will be turned into a 6,900-square-foot open study and tutoring center in this $2.55 million project. Offices and group study rooms will also be built. Construction should be completed by November.

Window Replacements: Nearly $5 million in ongoing maintenance includes the installation of new windows in the Perelman School of Medicine’s Anatomy/Chemistry building, Penn Vet’s Rosenthal Hall, Fisher Fine Arts’ Duhring Wing and Sweeten Alumni House.

Residential Renovations: Student rooms and public spaces in Kings Court/English House and Sansom Place East will get new finishes and furniture, and McClelland Hall in the Quad will be equipped to offer more extensive food options through a $1.5 million upgrade.

The ARCH building at Locust Walk and 36th Street: This $21.5 million project, currently in design, will add common and meeting spaces, a café and auditorium.

Lastly, nearing completion is the $46.5 million Penn Park, a new 24-acre green space and athletic complex at the easternmost edge of campus. When it opens this fall, the Park’s new tennis complex will replace the Lott Tennis Courts located in front of The Palestra, where construction of another campus open space project, the $8 million Shoemaker Green, will get underway in August.

Originally published on July 14, 2011