University of Pennsylvania Acquires Christian Association Property

PHILADELPHIA --- The University of Pennsylvania has acquired the Christian Association property at 3601 Locust Walk, according to a joint announcement today (Nov. 4) by University President Judith Rodin and Christian Association Executive Director, the Rev. Dr. Beverly Dale.

Closing on the property occurred on Nov. 1, 1999.

The purchase price of the property and the terms and conditions of the sale were not disclosed.

"This is a very important, indeed critical, acquisition as we consider our facilities needs at the heart of the campus, "Dr. Rodin said, "and those needs within the context of our commitment to assure that the physical environment of the campus fulfills the needs of our academic mission."

She said that the campus development planning process initiated seven months ago as supplement to Agenda for Excellence, the University's strategic plan, will provide guidelines for the continued development of the physical environment in the future "as the need to skillfully manage our space becomes as vital as with our other resources."

The Rev. Dale said that the Christian Association "stands at a significant point in its history, similar in many respects to the time when we built the building 70 years ago.

"We are prepared to be bold now, just as we were then, but the focus today and in the future must be on people, on the development of strong moral leadership skills of our students, rather than on bricks and mortar," Rev. Dale said, adding that the agreement with the University will "allow the [Christian Association] board and the staff to focus on our mission less encumbered than we have been in the recent past."

Dr. Rodin said that the designated use of the Christian Association property would be determined at a later date.

She said that the expectation was that the Gold Standard would continue to operate at the property through the remainder of its lease with the Christian Association, which expires on Dec. 31, 2002.

The Christian Association will move to Westminster House at 37th and Sansom streets under a 25-year lease.

Westminster House is owned by the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Rodin said that certain renovations will be made to the property to make it suitable for use by the Christian Association. She said that under the terms of the agreement, the University and the Christian Association will share the cost of the renovations and the responsibility for maintenance of the property during the 25-year lease, with the University responsible for exterior maintenance of the property, and the Christian Association responsible for the care and maintenance of the interior of the property, including routine maintenance of the heating, plumbing, ventilation and air-conditioning systems as well as cleaning and other janitorial work.