Penn announced plans for renovations of the Quad and Stouffer College House and the construction of a new School of Engineering and Applied Science building at Thursday's Board of Trustees meeting.
Although construction projects that were underway this past year were delayed by the pandemic — including the installation of air conditioning in Gregory College House and the construction of Weitzman Plaza — the timelines for Quad and Stouffer renovations and the SEAS Data Science Building have remained unaffected, Executive Director of Design and Construction at Facilities and Real Estate Services Mike Dausch wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
At the Facilities and Campus Planning Committee session, University officials announced the three projects are all set to begin construction in 2022 and will carry steep price tags. Quad and Stouffer renovations will cost $200 million and $29.8 million, respectively, and will feature updated bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities. The SEAS Data Science Building will cost $117 million and include laboratories, research centers, and classrooms.
Quad renovations will span six summers beginning in 2022 and ending in 2027, including additions like study spaces, seminar rooms, and three new elevators. Some renovations include upgrades that require taking up space currently used for bedrooms, causing the Quad to lose about 27 rooms in total, Quad renovations architect Elizabeth Leber said. The Quad consists of three college houses — Riepe, Fisher Hassenfeld, and Ware — which currently have the capacity to house more than 1,300 students in total.
Renovations will also feature improved flooring, furniture, and paint, as well as repairs to windows and roofs. Plans also include improvements to energy efficiency, including upgrades to in-room fan coil units, as well as enhanced privacy in bathrooms through rearranged partitions. Some existing sinks and vanity mirrors in bedrooms that pose maintenance issues will be removed and carpeting in rooms will be replaced, Leber said.
Campus buildings undergo renovations about every 25 years, and college houses are renovated in cycles. The Quad's most recent renovations were completed in 2002, and Penn began searching for an architect to lead the upcoming renovations in 2018.
Stouffer College House's upcoming renovations will include several adjustments to make every room in the building fully accessible, including a new elevator, new ramps, and an interior lift. Bedrooms, bathrooms, and common areas are also set to be completely gutted and renovated, Stouffer renovations architect Michael Schade said. Renovations will also feature new lounge areas with glazed windows to allow more natural light into common areas.
The Weingarten Learning Resources Center, as well as some College Houses & Academic Services offices located in Stouffer, may be forced to relocate temporarily while renovations take place, Vice President of the Division of Business Services Marie Witt said. Other facilities that are housed in Stouffer Commons, such as the Platt Student Performing Arts House and retail locations, will not need to be relocated during construction.
Stouffer's renovations are expected to begin in May 2022 and finish in August 2023 in time for students to move in for the fall semester.
The new SEAS Data Science Building will be located on 34th and Chestnut streets next to Lauder College House. The building will house a data research center on its upper floors, while the first two floors will be used for academic learning spaces, including a student lounge, a grab-and-go cafe, a reading room, classrooms, laboratories, and an auditorium, architect Andrew Herdeg said.
"We think that it could be an environment that we hope attracts people from every one of the schools at Penn as well as the undergraduate and graduate students that form the community," Penn Engineering Senior Associate Dean David Meaney said.
As the designing stage for the data science building wraps up, Penn is set to begin construction in May 2022 and complete the building in summer 2024. Plans for the building were originally announced in November 2019 with a $25 million gift from 1980 College graduate Harlan Stone.