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COUNCIL: State of the University
October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10

EVP Craig Carnaroli – Penn Connects

Historically when I’ve presented to the University Council on the State of the University in October, the focus of my remarks have been more financial in nature. Dr. Gutmann asked that for this State of the University, we provide an update on the campus master plan, known as Penn Connects.  I will say that the University has finished a very strong financial year, particularly given the growth of the endowment as well as the philanthropic activity in advance of the campaign. 

In regard to Penn Connects, I’m very pleased to share with you that all of the projects that we anticipated being planned and commenced in phase 1 are in activity.  In fact, things are going so well that we are actually starting to see projects we anticipated in phase 2, which was anticipated to start in 2010, specifically the School of Medicine has a very exciting project with respect to translational medicine that is continuing planning.  In addition, in the summer we announced the redevelopment of the postal properties in a partnership with Brandywine Realty. 

 We have completed projects, projects that are in construction, projects that are in the feasibility stage, so what I’m going to do is walk you through the various phases of progress for each project. 

As part of our overall housing strategy, in addition to the new College House we’d like to see built, we also are looking to bring more housing closer to campus east of 40th Street. So we have two completed projects, the Hub, which includes both Penn undergraduate and graduate students, as well as Domus, which is now at 45 percent leased and 36 percent occupancy, which also will bring exciting retail options to the campus.

Hill Square
A new 300−400 bed College House at Hill Square, including residential advisors, faculty, and house master suites. The ground floor will feature public amenities such as retail, dining, and social spaces.

There are four projects that are under construction currently. The first being the Annenberg Public Policy Center designed by Maki. We anticipate the building being completed in the fall of 2009.

The School of Nursing has a very exciting project underway, which is the next phase of Fagin Hall, where in fact they are retro-fitting the third and fourth floor of that building, very successful fundraising project on the part of the school leadership has really helped to energize the activity of the school. 

The third project is the most ambitious project going on campus today, which is the redevelopment of the former Civic Center properties. This is a combined project that includes the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, approximately 900,000 to 1,000,000 square feet of clinical care space that will support a number of our strategic programs, as well as the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, which is a very exciting technology that helps to target cancer cells in a person’s body. The project has a combined budget of $442 million. This will be completed in phases, including the summer of 2008, when the outpatient center will open, the summer of 2009 when the Proton Therapy Center will open and then hopefully the summer of 2010 is when the research building will open. 

The redevelopment of the 3900 block of Walnut is the Radian, a residential complex designed for undergraduates and graduate students. In fact the first student I know who signed up is a dental student. This is anticipated to open at the start of the next academic year. 

Turning now to projects that are in pre-construction phase, there are a number of projects, a lot of planning is going on with respect to the redevelopment of the former postal properties. Along Chestnut Street the former vehicle maintenance facility that’s being retro-fitted to house what will be a new retail post office, as well as plans that are underway with respect to redevelopment of the annex site as well as the renovation of the former Post Office Building. That is being done in partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust. 


I previously mentioned the Translational Research Tower. The School of Medicine building being planned will support translational medicine.

Franklin Field Pavilion, which will be both a weight room as well as a fitness facility on that end of campus. The Franklin Field Pavilion is a very exciting project that will be on the north end of Franklin Field. This is basically a grass infill, so what I’ve shown you in the past is the cars that used to park in those arches—and that will be brought to life, and that’s very exciting. The architect has been selected, the design process is underway and we’ve secured a major gift through the efforts of the central development and the Athletics Department.  

Now we’re at a stage called consultant selection, which is basically feasibility studies for various projects. I think you all heard in the past Dr. Gutmann say how important and strategic it is for Penn to build a new College House on Hill Field in a quad-like structure to keep 70% of the green space available for recreational activity and really create another quad-like experience here on Hill Square. We’ve been very fortunate again from positive philanthropic efforts to receive a lead gift for the Nanoscale Research Building, which is another discipline that we’re looking to expand and nurture here at Penn—nanoscience. The Penn Park is also part of our transformation of the 14 acres; it’s a creation of green and open space to support both athletic and recreational use. A very important part of the School of Arts and Sciences strategic initiatives is the development of neuro and behavioral science and this will be co-located next to the Lynch Labs and last but not least, the ARCH is also in consultant selection and this relates to the ultimate renovation of that building. 

To highlight Penn Park, we have RFPs out on qualifications, we anticipate design development in this time frame and then construction. Fields are being planned to support softball, intercollegiate activity, recreation space and we’re thinking a lot about how people traverse to this part of the campus.   The timeline (below) for all this is a very ambitious and exciting plan, you’ll see what’s been completed, you see in 2008 what we expect to come online, so we would hope next year when we’re here these will all be successfully completed and opened. In 2009, you would see the next wave, which would include the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Proton Therapy, the Music Building and Franklin Field. In 2010, Penn Park will be online, hopefully South Street Bridge will have been reconstructed and you can see the balance of the timeline. There are other to be determined projects that can fit anywhere within the spectrum and they are a function of the success we have in the capital campaign in securing lead gifts for these activities.



Almanac - October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10