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Drexel Project Updates as of August 2022
Building Energy Performance: In keeping with both the University’s goal of reducing energy and citywide mandates on energy reduction, the University is undertaking inspections and repairs on buildings scheduled for submission by September 2022. Current work pertains to the Main Building, Randell Hall, Curtis Hall, 3201 Arch Street, Daskalakis Athletic Center, Recreation Center, Bossone Research Center, LeBow Engineering Center and Center for Automation Technology. Documentation has been completed and submitted to the city for review and approval for the URBN Center, Nesbitt Hall and Academic Building.
Daskalakis Athletic Center Video Scoreboard and LED Lighting: This project improving the basketball arena includes the fabrication and installation of a center court video scoreboard, indoor sound system, various smaller LED video boards, LED lighting, and larger audio/visual production studio. On-site construction began the end of May, and this project is scheduled for completion by the beginning of October 2022.
Façade Renovations: In keeping with both the University’s goal of maintaining its buildings and citywide mandates for façade repairs, the University is undertaking repairs on buildings with inspection reports due in June 2022. Construction has been completed on 3201 Arch Street and Stratton Hall. Work is in progress for Nesbitt Hall, Rush Building (will include new roof and improved ADA entrance), Disque Hall, the Main Building and Curtis Hall.
HVAC Replacements: The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center will be undergoing HVAC upgrades in August 2022 to replace air handling units that have reached the end of their useful life. The Main Building cooling tower design is complete, and construction scheduled for October through November 2022.The New College Building vivarium floors are currently undergoing air and hydronic system rebalancing for AAALAC accreditation, which will be completed in August 2022. Ross Commons will be undergoing HVAC upgrades to replace air handling units and heat exchangers that have reached the end of their useful life.
Kelly Hall Renovation and Expansion: Construction is ongoing for the renovation and expansion of Kelly Hall, addressing the needs of the building and modernizing it throughout to provide an improved living experience, with occupancy in fall 2023. The renovation includes an addition to provide flexible open space, which will be used to create a cohesive living-learning community and a stronger physical presence for the occupants of the building along Spangler Walk. Renovation of the tower is currently underway.
Sculpture Installation: Monument in Waiting, a sculpture by Theaster Gates, which was created during the turbulent summer of 2020 and first exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York—is now installed at Drexel’s Korman Quad, on 33rd Street, between Chestnut and Market Streets. The Forman Family Collection has agreed to loan another major piece of outdoor sculpture to Drexel for installation along Lancaster Walk. Artist Alicja Kwade’s Pars Pro Toto includes eight stone spheres of varying types and sizes, and is expected to be installed on campus this summer. Kwade’s work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Venice Biennale, the Louisiana Museum in Denmark and the Berlinische Galerie in Germany, and her large-scale outdoor sculpture has been installed at Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen. Installation is scheduled for late August, pending arrival of the spheres that were shipped from Europe.
Vidas Friel House Boiler Upgrade: The existing boiler and associated piping for Vidas Friel House has been removed, and equipment and materials are currently being installed. Project completion is end of May 2022.
Third-Party Project Updates as of August 2022
Drexel University Health Sciences Building (Wexford Science & Technology): Construction of the new Health Sciences Building is on schedule, with substantial completion delivery achieved early this summer and the College of Nursing and Health Professions set to occupy the building for fall 2022. Wexford is developing the building, which will house the College of Nursing and Health Professions and various academic and administrative functions of the College of Medicine, relocating them to University City under a long-term lease agreement with Wexford at the former University City High School site. The building will total about 460,000 rentable square feet, within which Drexel will have a nearly 30-year lease. Read more in this DrexelNow article.
3201 Cuthbert Street (Gattuso Development Partners): Consistent with both the University’s physical master plan and its ambitions to expand access for student co-op and career opportunities, as well as collaborative research opportunities for faculty, Drexel has entered into a ground-lease agreement with a joint venture development group led by Gattuso Development Partners, LLC, for the current site of Buckley Recreation Field. The project, currently in design phases, will span the block from 32nd to 33rd streets and Arch to Cuthbert streets, with a 509,000 GSF mixed-use, 11-story building primarily outfitted for life sciences and research and development, including a full-floor vivarium as well as ground-level retail and restaurant space along 33rd Street. Drexel will have both a ground-floor presence and exclusive use of the penthouse 11th floor, occupying around 60,000 SF total to house core research and business outreach operations, as well as much-needed laboratory and office space for appropriate components in the College of Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. Transfer of the land to Gattuso Development will occur in early October, and construction is expected to begin later in the fall.
Spark Therapeutics Development at F Lot: Spark Therapeutics will invest an initial $575 million in the creation of a new, state-of-the-art gene therapy innovation center on Drexel University’s campus through a 99-year ground lease of Drexel’s F Lot. The anticipated 600,000-square-foot, multi-story building will serve as a Roche global center of excellence for gene therapy manufacturing and will create opportunities for collaboration with Drexel and Philadelphia’s booming life sciences community. Spark assumes control of the site in early September. Groundbreaking is anticipated later in the fall.
Schuylkill Yards (Brandywine Realty Trust): Brandywine is nearing substantial completion of current renovations in the Bulletin Building, with the main lobby currently under renovation. Brandywine is renovating the Market Street-facing retail space for a food hall, with an anticipated occupancy date at the end of 2022. Construction continues on SEPTA’s Headhouse adjacent to Drexel Square, with completion anticipated in 2023.
Construction of Brandywine’s 570,000-square-foot, mixed-use building, dubbed The West Tower at Schuylkill Yards, is on schedule and on budget, with completion anticipated in October 2023. The building will add a mix of residential rental units, life science and innovation office space, retail, and indoor/outdoor amenity spaces. The superstructure for the lower commercial/lab section is complete. Construction for the upper high-rise residential is in progress.
Demolition of the existing garage and bank building at 3151 Market Street is underway for the development of a new stand-alone lab building that will accommodate approximately 450,000 SF of lab and lab-support spaces. Construction is anticipated to be complete in the summer of 2024. Brandywine is actively negotiating with a significant lead tenant from the bio-science field. Drexel is also exploring the possibility of leasing space in the building to accommodate various physical science laboratories.