On the eastern edge of campus, work crews at Penn Park are putting the pedal to the metal, pushing to complete as much construction as possible before the worst of winter weather sets in.
Over the past few months, workers have been installing an innovative stormwater drainage system designed to capture and reuse water—no small feat for a 24-acre swath of land bordered by railroad tracks, the Schuylkill Expressway and most recently, a series of surface parking lots. Before Penn Park, most of that water would have run from impervious surfaces into the Schuylkill River. In accordance with the stormwater regulations of the Philadelphia Water Department, Penn will keep and use much of the water onsite, collecting it in an underground cistern and then pumping it out for irrigation. The stormwater will flow into the river only in times of extreme flooding.
Penn Park, which will feature athletic fields and pedestrian walkways, is on schedule to be completed by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.
Text by Heather A. Davis
Photos by Scott H. Spitzer and Penn Facilities