2006-2007 Year-End Report of the Committee on Campus and Community Life
Committee on Academic & Related Affairs
Year-End Report of the Committee on Facilities
April 27, 2007
At the request of the Steering Committee of the Council, the Committee on Facilities submits this Final Report.
The Committee’s General Charge
The Bylaws of the University Council state:
The Committee on Facilities shall be responsible for keeping under review the planning and operation by the University of its physical plant and all services associated therewith, including transportation and parking. The Committee shall consist of eight faculty members, three representatives of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly, two representatives of the Weekly-Paid Professional Staff Assembly, two graduate/professional students, and two undergraduate students. The vice president for facilities services, the chair of the committee for an Accessible University, and the registrar shall be non-voting ex-officio members of the Committee.
The Committee’s 2006-07 Specific Charges
1. Examine continuing response to the Campus Development Plan.
2. Examine the planning for and effects of the South Street Bridge closing.
3. Monitor pedestrian safety, accessibility and transportation coordination (around the hospital quadrant in particular) and establish links with appropriate committees.
4. Examine space-planning problems associated with responsibility center management (pooled research and classroom space).
5. Examine ways of improving communications and planning across schools as it affects development of the overall campus. Pursue the creation of a University website that shows the minutes of all committees related to “facilities” and activities of Department of Facilities.
6. Review and discuss the committee’s general charge and identify two or three issues that should be given highest priority for the Committee’s work in AY 2007-08.
Activities of the Committee
Our Committee met five times during fall 2006 (October 24, November 14, December 5,12, and 19) and three times during spring 2007 (February 22, March 27, and April 24).
To cope with the large number of charges we were given and those created by ourselves, we formed a number of subcommittees to study the separate topics. Those subcommittees were: Open Space; Pedestrian Circulation, Transportation and Accessibility; and Space Planning and Responsibility Center Management.
The Committee received a brief overview of the updated Campus Development Plan, noting the provisions for opportunities for expanding open space. This recent effort, presented to the Trustees in February, took a closer look at the area east of 33rd Street, from Walnut to South Street. By relocating the surface tennis courts, a new commons is envisioned, fronting the Palestra. To the east of the Highline, an urban park will be created with passive recreation amenities, surrounding new artificial turf fields. Overall, the plan calls for a 20% increase in campus open space. Project budgets and capital planning responsibilities are currently under discussion. An October 20, 2007 Campaign Kickoff event is planned for the postal property with a spring 2008 construction start planned for Phase 1 fields and parkland.
The subcommittee found that concern has been expressed by undergraduates, graduate students, staff and faculty on the sense that there has been an overall loss of open playing green space on the main campus over the past several years as well as an over usage on the remaining playing fields. To address these concerns, the Committee recommends the following: 1) a plan to improve and support the maintenance of current open playing greenspace fields at Hill Field, Locust Walk and 40th Street, and Highline Park; 2) continued support of the current Penn Connects plan to include more open and open playing greenspace in the eastward campus expansion; and 3) consideration to keep the remaining space after the “Hill Square” college house development as open playing greenspace.
Space Planning and RCM
This subcommittee submitted a document on University committees that focus on space issues which include space acquisition and assignment; construction, renovation, and leasing; and design approval. The committee recognizes the value of the Space Planning documentation and the PowerPoint presentation on the Capital Approval and Development Process, which were brought before the committee, and recommends that Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) review them for appropriate use and communication across the University. Bonnie Gibson, VP for Budget and Management Analysis, presented a review of Responsibility Center Management (RCM), the University’s managerial framework, which carries out internal budgeting and financial reporting activities and promotes the broadest possible stewardship of the University’s financial resources. The subcommittee recommended that a Capital Approval and Development Process PowerPoint presentation and a Penn Space Planning Summary memo be referred to Facilities and Real Estate Services for potential inclusion on the FRES website.
This subcommittee addressed concerns regarding the impact of the upcoming South Street Bridge reconstruction project on the Penn community. The subcommittee recommends that the Committee receive ongoing updates on this construction project, that the University explore the promotion of off-campus parking alternatives, and the addition of more mid-crossing pedestrian guards at busier key intersections.
Penn’s Sustainability Plan
All Committee members served as a committee-of-the-whole on another topic, that is, of “Penn’s Sustainability Plan.” This topic was proposed by the 2005-2006 Council Committee on Facilities, and reinstated by this year’s Committee.
On November 14, 2006, Vincent Price (Chair, Steering Committee of University Council) wrote to Peter McCleary (as Chairman of the Committee on Facilities) saying: “The Steering Committee of University Council voted to refer the recommendations (of several student groups’ studies concerning sustainability policies) to the Committee on Facilities for further consideration.” Our committee accepted this charge and held three meetings in December 2006 with a focus on the topic of ‘sustainability policies.’
The committee heard presentations from:
Bonnie Waring and Michael Poll (students representing the Green Campus Partnership, the Penn Environmental Group and the Undergraduate Assembly);
Professors Ali Malkawi and William Braham (from Penn’s TC Chan Center on Energy);
David Hollenberg, Dan Garofalo, and Mark Kocent (from FRES).
On December 22, 2006, the committee-of-the-whole Facilities Committee submitted, to the University Council, a separate fall semester report, with proposals, on the topic of ‘Penn’s sustainability policies’. The proposals included the following:
1. The University Council and Administration (President and Provost), in consultation with the Facilities and Real Estate Department and Business Services, consider forming a new stand-alone committee (representing all the communities at Penn) to focus on sustainability issues (and its members should have some knowledge and enthusiasm for in the subject). This new committee would be involved in the development of Penn’s sustainability policies. The present Council Committee on Facilities would continue to study the remaining, non–sustainability, issues important to the Penn community.
2. In spring 2007, Penn contact sustainability coordinators from other institutions to guide our sustainability decision processes, and helps formulate an agenda for Penn that might include appointing a sustainability coordinator.
3. Goals and standards for Penn’s sustainability performance be identified and an implementation schedule be set.
4. Penn continue to support the research and evaluation work done by the TC Chan Center and its collaboration of FRES.
On February 22, 2007, Dan Garafalo gave a presentation on Penn’s sustainability initiatives to date and direction for the future. Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services, gave the same presentation to the full University Council on February 28 as reported in Almanac. The Committee was supportive of the inventory of programs and planned steps for the future, including the formation of a Sustainability Advisory Committee to be chaired by Vice President Papageorge. The Committee also applauds President Gutmann on being the first Ivy League President to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which asks institutions to become “climate neutral” through careful planning and conservation.
Suggested Charges for Next Academic Year
The Committee suggests that it address the following specific charges in the upcoming academic year: 1) Updates and communications on South Street Bridge project; 2) Sustainability progress reports; 3) Penn Connects updates; 4) Deferred maintenance issues; and 5) Help to promote and possibly expand Penn Transit services.
Facilities Committee Members 2006-2007
Chair: Peter McCleary (Architecture), Eugenie Birch (City & Regional Planning); Faculty: William Braham (Architecture), Lois Evans (Nursing), Michael McGarvey (Neurology), Susan Wachter (Real Estate); Graduate Students: Linda Meiberg (SAS ’08), Kara Yokley (W ’07) Undergraduate Students: Wilson Tong (W ’08), Lisa Zhu (COL ’07); WPSA: Loretta Hauber (Learning Resources), Andrew Holman (Development/Alumni Relations); PPSA: Helen DiCaprio (Budget & Mgmt. Analysis), Lynn Rotoli (Operations & Maintenance Admin); Ex Officio: Michael Harris (Office of the Executive Vice President), Mark Kocent (Facilities and Real Estate Services).