Summer campus construction moving forward

Penn does not have an off season. Although most students have left for the summer, the campus echoes with the rumblings of jackhammers, heavy-duty delivery trucks and machinery, and hard-hatted construction crews.

“Now that the majority of students have left campus, the rush is on to get much of the more disruptive construction projects done before the new academic year is upon us,” says Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services.

This summer, crews are finishing the development of Shoemaker Green, starting the construction of Spruce Street Plaza, making a multitude of upgrades to residence halls all around campus, and continuing with several ongoing construction projects.

Shoemaker Green, located on 33rd Street near The Palestra, is nearing completion with an opening celebration planned for September. Trees have been planted and sod has been installed as part of this 2.75-acre, $8 million project, which boasts a wealth of sustainable features, including three rain gardens, porous pavers, and a cistern for rainwater reuse.  

A few blocks away, the triangular Lot 8 parking lot that currently houses food trucks across the street from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is also being transformed into new green space that will be named Spruce Street Plaza. This 1-acre, $2.3 million project should be completed by December.

Both projects support Penn’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for increasing campus green space that will positively impact storm-water management for the campus and the city.

Among the other major projects under construction this summer are:

-- The Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology: This $91.5 million project should be fully enclosed this July. The building is expected to be completed in October 2013.

-- Translational Research Center: Though the building was completed in 2011, three unoccupied shelled floors are now being outfitted into labs.

      -- Steinberg-Dietrich Hall Addition: With the demolition phase completed, this $18.5 renovation will include a four-story office tower above classrooms; classroom completion is scheduled for this winter and project completion is slated for the summer of 2013.

      -- The ARCH: A $24.5 million renovation of the gothic style home to many student groups at 36th Street and Locust Walk is moving forward with plans for a lounge, group study rooms, expanded office space, an auditorium, and a cafe.

      -- Hutchinson Gym Infill: This $22.5 million renovation project will turn an old swimming pool site into a new basketball practice gym. The original basketball practice gym will provide facilities for the gymnastics and fencing teams.

      -- 1920 Commons: These $6.9 million renovations include new retail and an outdoor patio space, and should be finished before Fall semester begins.

                  For more information on campus development projects in progress as Fall semester approaches, visit the Penn Connects website.