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The lobby of The Radian, an off campus apartment complex that Penn recently converted into a temporary college house. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Renovations, whether recently completed or just begun, have altered the campus housing scene for undergraduate and graduate students. Here is an overview of the changes to Penn student housing this year.

Riepe College House closed until August 2024 

This summer marked the start of the three-year project to renovate the Quad, beginning with the closure of Riepe College House until August 2024. To accommodate first years who would otherwise have lived in the Quad, Lauder College House and Van Pelt Manor in Gregory College House — previously four-year dorms — are now exclusively first-year housing.

Lauder transitioned to a first-year house to compensate for the loss of 432 bed spaces in Riepe, Director of Residential Services Pat Killilee told The Daily Pennsylvanian in a written statement. The reopening of Stouffer after renovations and the addition of first-year beds to Van Pelt Manor also helped accommodate for the decrease in the Quad's housing capacity.

Killilee added that students affected by the changes to Lauder and Gregory were given "relocation points" to weight their time slots during the spring room selection process.

College sophomore Chino Anyadiegwu, who lived in Lauder last year, said that the change will likely create a stronger social environment than when Lauder was a four-year house.

“It has a lot of potential to become the most social dorm,” Anyadiegwu said.  

Avia Weber, a College sophomore who lived in a first-year Lauder program community, said that she formed close bonds with the other residents and would have stayed another year if possible. She advised incoming students “not to take anything for granted” about their housing assignment.

“Take on all the opportunities for community-building that Lauder offers,” Weber said. 

Radian lease begins

To ensure that rooms would be available for upperclassmen, Penn decided in September 2022 to enter a three-year lease with The Radian, an off-campus apartment complex. The Radian will function as a college house for upperclassmen during the Quad renovations.

Barbara Lea-Kruger, director of communications and external relations, said in a written statement to the DP that the academic year lease begins Aug. 25. Previous Radian residents were able to stay in their rooms over the summer, with leases ending July 28.

The Radian will have the same security measures as other college houses. A PennCard is necessary to access the building, and turnstiles and an Information Center desk have been added to the lobby. The Radian will also have designated staff and residential advisors.

“College Houses & Academic Services faculty, staff, and RAs will live in the building and serve as resources and support for the undergraduate students that live in the building,” Lea-Kruger wrote.

Students leasing from The Radian before its transition to campus housing had the option to retain their rooms as part of Penn’s housing application process. Rising second years were able to select The Radian during the room selection process in the spring.

College sophomore Aashish Codada, who is living in The Radian this year, said that he was already considering it as an eventual off-campus housing option before the University announced the lease.

“When I heard it would be available to sophomores, I was pretty interested,” Codada said. 

457 students are assigned to The Radian for this year, according to Lea-Kruger. Although class years are fairly evenly distributed, second years are the most well-represented at 35.7% of the residents. All Radian rooms will cost $15,958 for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi The study lounge of the College House at the Radian is located on the 12th floor.

Graduate student housing option reopens 

Sansom Place East has reopened as The Accolade on Chestnut after over a year of renovations. The Accolade is currently the only on-campus housing option for graduate students, following the closure of Sansom Place West at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.

The renovation to Sansom Place East, first announced in July 2021, came after graduate students criticized the building’s living conditions. Penn partnered with Greystar Real Estate Partners for a $94.5 million project to update amenities to meet students’ needs. The renovations included new HVAC systems, windows, and concrete restoration.

According to the announcement posted Aug. 15 to Penn President Liz Magill’s Instagram, The Accolade has studio and two-bedroom apartments, for a total of 471 units and 588 beds.