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Students arriving at Penn this week may not recognize the campus, which has undergone plenty of groundbreakings and renovations over the past four months.

Some noteworthy - and hard to miss - projects include:

n Demolition and utility relocation is underway for a new building at 36th and Locust streets: The Annenberg Public Policy Center.

This new facility will house programs such as Justice Talking and as well as cutting-edge research in public policy and communications.

The demolition of the old Hillel building, which stood where the Center will be built, began early in the summer and will conclude by the time classes start.

The expected completion date for the project, which has an anticipated budget of $34 million, is spring 2009.

n The historic Moore Building, located at 33rd and Walnut streets and best known for housing Engineering classes, received a face-lift this summer.

The decision to give Moore a refurbished facade was based on the condition of the 100-year-old building, according to Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate.

"It's incredible how much of a difference the upgrade makes," Papageorge said.

Work on Moore building, which cost $314,000, will be completed before the semester begins.

n The $106.5 high-rise renovation project, which began last summer, picked up again in May.

This time, the focus was on Harnwell and Harrison college houses. Both received upgrades to kitchens and bathrooms, removal of existing carpet and tile, installation of new vinyl flooring and upgrades of lighting and as building systems.

Though Harnwell is now complete, Harrison will be done next summer. Rodin College House will be renovated in 2009.

"From the new bathtub to the kitchen stove, everything is amazing," said College sophomore Jennifer Duval, who is living in Harrison this year.

This most recent phase of renovations cost $30 million and was a distinct challenge for everyone involved.

"There was a lot of pre-planning and pre-purchasing involved to get the project done on time," said Papageorge, who also made a point to make monthly visits to the site to track progress.

n Other projects around campus include the interior and exterior renovations of Civic House, scheduled to be completed next month, and the reconfiguration of the third and fourth floors of Fagin Hall in the School of Nursing, set for completion in fall 2008.

Classroom renovations took place in Meyerson Hall's basement, Williams Hall, David Rittenhouse Laboratory, McNeil Hall and Solomon Labs. Upgrades, which totaled $700,000, include lighting, paint and new furniture.

"It's about time they fixed up DRL," said Engineering junior Melinda Angeles, who takes most of her classes there. "It'll be interesting to see just how much it changed."

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