The dates for specific construction components of Penn's $300 million dorm and dining overhaul have been pushed back one to three years, though the overall order of the phases will remain the same, officials said yesterday. Officials have reworked the project's construction timeline and now expect that it will not be complete until 2008, one year later than originally planned, Associate Vice President for Campus Service Larry Moneta said. Moneta added that the timeline has always been temporary and that its recent delays are not a result of financial problems. He stressed that a project of this size and scope can be pushed back by the great deal of consultation and evaluation involved. "This is a very complex project that has to be integrated with the University's other projects," Moneta said, adding that the original timeline, announced a year ago, is a "template from which we'll work" rather than a set schedule of events. "I think that a project that goes on for a decade or more is certainly going to have a variety of external and internal forces that change the details of the schedule," Director of College Houses and Academic Services David Brownlee said. "There is certainly no single force at work in this." The phases of the project that will take place in the Hamilton Village area of campus, where 1,000 new beds will be created, have been pushed back two years from the original projected starting date of late this year. The construction of new residences to create 700 additional beds in Hamilton Village will not commence until sometime in 2001. The construction will take about two years and the residences will likely open in the fall of 2003. Project coordinators also plan to add an additional 300 beds to Hamilton Village, although the specific dates for that project have not yet been determined, since officials want "to make an informed decision about the 300 beds consistent with broader campus planning" that is still being conducted, Moneta said. Also during this period, officials hope to renovate and expand the Class of 1920 Commons dining hall in order to upgrade the facility as well as accommodate the dining demands of additional Hamilton Village residents. Once residential construction is complete, the University will embark upon a three-year high rise renovation project in which one high rise will close each academic year for one year of renovations, beginning in 2003 and ending in 2006. In 2003 officials will begin planning the fate of the Stouffer Triangle, which will likely be demolished to make way for a new dining facility on the corner of 38th and Spruce streets. Stouffer demolition and the construction of the new facility will begin in 2004 -- three years later than originally announced -- and continue through 2006. From 2006 to 2007, the existing low-rise buildings in Hamilton Village, including DuBois and Gregory college houses, will undergo less extensive renovations. And Hill College House and King's Court/English College House will undergo minor changes starting in 2007 and ending in 2008. None of these buildings will close for the renovations. Pointing out that the project began on schedule this summer with the first phase of Quadrangle renovations -- which will see completion in 2003 and take place primarily during summer months -- and the restructuring of the Hill dining facility, Brownlee said that Penn already has a good start on the project. "In part I think we were correctly ambitious and sought to get the University started quickly and strongly on this and we have," Brownlee said. So far the Quad renovations have proceeded according to schedule and are within budget, Moneta added.Comments powered by Disqus
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