Despite the current economic downturn, Penn Connects, the University’s 30-year plan for campus development and eastward expansion, is still on track, according to administration officials.
“All the projects for which we have funding are proceeding,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. This includes both the Weiss Pavillion and Penn Park projects.
Three years into the plan, significant progress has been made. The Radian, Hub and Domus have all been completed, as well as the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, the Weave Bridge and several college house renovations.
The University is also awaiting the completion of the Music Building, Woodland Walk, Roberts Proton Therapy Center and Fisher Translational Research Center in 2010, according to Anne Papageorge, vice president of Facilities and Real Estate Services.
“The 30-year campus development plan and goals are still on target and have not been delayed,” Papageorge said in an e-mail.
Though the plan is on schedule, Gutmann said there is still work to be done.
“For Walnut Gateway and others that are long-term, we need to raise the necessary funds,” she said.
But despite the recession, fundraising has mostly kept pace with the construction. There was a slight drop in securing new commitments, according to John Zeller, vice president of development and alumni relations.
However, he added, “we’ve been very successful in light of what is going on economically.”
He also noted the future opportunities for fundraising that will become available with naming rights for projects like Penn Park, which is slated for completion in 2011.
Penn has also taken advantage of the lower prices that result from the state of the economy.
“[One] positive impact of this economic climate which we are seeing from the building perspective is an increased number of bids and competitive pricing coming from consultants … and subsequently lowered construction costs,” Papageorge said.
The positive state of development on campus is in stark contrast to that at other Ivy League schools.
Yale University has had to delay several planned construction projects due to dips in the university’s endowment, according to the Yale Daily News.
Similarly, The Harvard Crimson reported that “financial pressures and an unprecedented drop in the endowment” have slowed construction on their Allston Science Complex.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.