After Penn recently announced a plan to lease The Radian for two years while the Quad undergoes major renovations, The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with several officials from the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services to break down the details and updates about the process.
This will be the first major renovation since 2000 to the Quad, which is over 100 years old. The initial budget for the renovation was $200 million, but since then the budget has increased to $238.15 million to cover chimney work and normal inflation, according to Director of Design and Construction John Zurn. This adjusted amount does not include the costs of leasing The Radian.
The three college houses that comprise the Quad will be renovated one at a time, with Riepe being the first, Ware second, and Fisher-Hassenfeld third. The timeline has changed slightly, with renovations now scheduled to last roughly 15 months per house, meaning the entire project will be completed in 2026, a year earlier than was initially announced.
Renovations in Riepe will last from May 2023 to August 2024, in Ware will last from May 2024 to August 2025, and in Fisher-Hassenfeld will last from May 2025 to May 2026.
Renovations will include the removal of sinks in all bedrooms, two new elevators and a Limited-Use-Limited-Application lift for increased accessibility, and more single-use bathrooms.
The two currently existing elevators will be replaced, and the new elevators will also make larger lounges more accessible, according to University Architect Mark Kocent.
He added that the creation of more single-use bathrooms will mean that some bedrooms currently surrounding bathrooms will be consolidated into the bathroom space instead. However, no more than 50 beds will be lost in this transition, and there will still be more than 1,400 beds in the Quad.
“There were a number of bedrooms lost to make the bathrooms all-gender. Some were lost for utility infrastructure, and some were made to make the building more equitable in terms of lounges,” Kocent said.
All the bathrooms in the Quad will be updated, but not all will become single-use bathrooms. They will, however, “feel more single-use” according to Kocent, with almost floor-to-ceiling doors in the stalls to make them feel more “private.”
All bathrooms will have the “potential” to be gender neutral with this layout according to Senior Associate Director of Building Operations Paul Forchielli.
“Sometimes in the past, halls have made those calls. Every bathroom will have the potential to be completely gender-neutral now,” Forchielli said.
The renovation of Stouffer College House was announced at the same time as the Quad renovations and that process has already begun. Most of the demolition in Stouffer has been completed, according to Zurn, and he doesn’t anticipate running into any issues with the rest of the project.
Stouffer had not been renovated since it was built, and the main goal of the renovation was to both update bedrooms and bathrooms and to make it more accessible.
“It was never fully accessible inside. The next step will be taking out some of the concrete steps and putting all the ramps in pouring concrete,” Forchielli said.