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David Rittenhouse Laboratory will move to the corner of 39th and Walnut streets by next spring. The move is funded by a $10 million donation from Ronald Perelman. The building will be broken down and reassembled in order to keep its architectural integrity, as it is the first modernist building to be constructed on campus.

Credit: Amanda Suarez , Amanda Suarez

DRL is coming soon to a location near you.

Starting spring semester next year, the David Rittenhouse Laboratory will be moved to the corner of 39th and Walnut streets in a move to improve the Penn student experience. The project is funded with a $10 million donation from Ronald Perelman, and the new building will be renamed the David-Ronald Perelman-Rittenhouse Laboratory.

“As a Penn alum, I felt like I had to give back to the school,” Perelman said in an email. “I hope this would break down the geographical barriers within the school and contribute to a more cohesive academic experience.”

The move will drastically cut down on the time needed to commute from DRL to Huntsman Hall, two of the major academic buildings on campus.

“The long walk has deterred students from taking Wharton and mathematics classes concurrently in the same semester,” Provost Vincent Price said in an email. “We hope that this project will reverse that effect and boost the attendance rate of recitations and lectures held in DRL.”

The original building, designed by architect James R. Edmonds Jr., will be taken down into approximately 5000 separate pieces, and moved to the new location over a one-month period. During the relocation period, classes originally held in the building will be moved to a temporary tent structure to be built in Penn Park. The temporary structure will be named the Ronald Perelman Tent.

Although keeping the original structure is a more costly option, Perelman said that the building holds great architectural as well as sentimental value.

“The Edmonds building was the first modernist building on campus,” he said. “It is of utmost importance to retain Penn’s historical memories and monuments.”

Students were generally very receptive to the change.

“I feel like I have so much more time on my hands now,” College sophomore Derrick Reynolds said. “I finally have a life.”

“Great idea!” Wharton and Engineering senior Glenn Wu yelled as he powerwalked past the Compass. He later apologized through email for his curt reply, explaining that he was trying to get to class on time.

However, some students do not agree with how the funds are used for this noble purpose.

“In my opinion, there is only one solution to this problem of not getting to classes in time,” Engineering junior Dave Kamen said. “Perelman should buy Segways for everyone.”

_This article appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Joke Issue 2013. For more information, click here

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