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President Amy Gutmann speaking during Penn's commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Sept. 10.

Credit: Kylie Cooper

Penn community members gathered on Friday to celebrate the groundbreaking of Amy Gutmann Hall, a new data science building scheduled to be completed in summer 2024. 

The new Penn Engineering building will be located at the northeast corner of 34th and Chestnut streets and will serve as a hub for research collaboration among Penn’s 12 schools. Planned facilities include an auditorium and active learning classrooms, as well as research and collaboration spaces. The ceremony was attended by Gutmann, naming donor and 1980 College graduate Harlan Stone, Nemirovsky Family Dean Vijay Kumar, and Penn Engineering Board Chair Rob Stavis. Building construction will begin in 2022, Penn Today reported.

Stone’s $25 million donation in 2019 was the largest to be received by Penn Engineering in its history and contributed to the construction of Amy Gutmann Hall.

The building will also be used for programs such as Penn Engineering’s Inveniam, a “STEM Equity and Innovation Lab,” which allows underserved and underrepresented Philadelphia students to access STEM education and careers. Amy Gutmann Hall will provide laboratories and classrooms for the program.

Other objectives of the building are to provide laboratories for research focused on more cost-effective health care, and research centers for the development of socially-aware data science methods.

Sustainability was a priority for the building plans, a Penn press release reported. Amy Gutmann Hall will be the first mass timber building — a framing technique that replaces fossil-fuel-dependent concrete and steel frames — in Philadelphia, reducing its carbon footprint.

“I do believe [this building] will be the perfect embodiment of our Penn Compact, to promote inclusion, to drive innovation, and have the utmost positive impact on our community, our society, and our world,” Gutmann said during the ceremony.