Building a Campus

Last year we unveiled the Papadakis Integrated Sciences building, home to our living laboratory and our collection of fossils (dinosaur and otherwise). This year we plan to complete at least two more major construction projects on our University City Campus alone, with even more being done on our Center City and Queen Lane Campuses. We're building and rebuilding our campus on a vast scale, so it might help to quantify the work we're doing. Here are some numbers:

  • 240: Height of the crane, in feet, above the site of the new LeBow College of Business building. But the building itself has some pretty impressive numbers, as well. The 12-story structure is covered in over 67,000 square feet of limestone. That's the same material used in the Great Pyramid of Giza. We're not saying our building is the eighth wonder of the world, but we're fairly certain the pyramids don't boast daylight sensors to control levels of artificial lighting and save energy.
  • 967,025: Square feet of green space on our University City Campus. That's about a quarter of a square mile of trees, grass, and other growing things for you to enjoy. All this green space helps clean the air and soil, but it also helps clean your brain. Studies show that people who live and work in areas with high concentrations of green space report less mental distress and higher overall life satisfaction.
  • 100: Highest classification of cleanroom in the soon-to-be-renovated Microfabrication Lab at Drexel's College of Engineering. Cleanrooms are facilities used in scientific research and manufacturing – where sensitive components like microchips are made. As a point of reference, the ambient air in a typical room contains over a billion particles per cubic foot. In a class 100 cleanroom, there are fewer than 5,000 particles in the same amount of space. This allows our engineers to perform even more delicate operations.

Of course, it's easy to see the master plan when you're looking down from 240 feet in the air. But what does it look like at street level? If you take a walk down Chestnut Street today, you might have to step around a construction truck or two. You'll probably have to wait an extra moment to cross the street as you approach the Creese Student Center and MacAlister Hall, and while you probably won't get lost in the maze of scaffolding and halogen lamps that surrounds the busy student center, we have to admit: it's an inconvenience.

If you can see past the dust, though, you'll get a glimpse of our school spirit. This is Drexel. It's noise and motion and constant progress. It's the knowledge that there's always something bigger on the horizon if you're willing to break some ground.

For a full overview of our ambitious construction plan, check out the Campus Master Plan. This is, possibly, the best time to be a Drexel dragon. That is, until our next big thing.

May 3, 2013

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