Campus Digest — July 2019

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Summertime on Drexel University’s campus is usually a bit more relaxed, but things rarely ever truly “slow down” at Drexel. Here’s what you need to be aware of this month while you’re taking classes, on co-op and enjoying the sunshine.

From the USGA

Applications still being accepted for open USGA positions — The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) is currently accepting rolling applications for senior class representatives and pre-junior class representatives. USGA is the bridge between the administration and student body looking to enhance the overall Drexel experience.

If you are interested in learning more about the organization, check out their DragonLink page and Facebook pageTo apply for open positions, please reach out to the elections committee at The USGA office is located in the basement of Creese Student Center, Suite 051, for any further inquiries.

Traffic Advisory

More Changes Coming for Chestnut Street — As of June 25, a new traffic pattern is in place on Chestnut Street between 31st Street and the Schuylkill River bridge that splits two eastbound lanes approaching the bridge. For details, please read the  about this traffic pattern.

In late July, the Chestnut Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River, between Schuylkill Avenue and 23rd Street, will close for a year of rehabilitation and re-decking. However, the split pattern will remain in place for continued access to Schuylkill Avenue and the ramps to I-76. PennDOT's advisory on the bridge closure, which is part of Stage 2 of PennDOT's $103 million project to rehabilitate Chestnut Street.

Drexel University advises students, faculty, professional staff and visitors to expect delays and detours when traveling by vehicle through the areas affected by the project and to use public transportation and carpools whenever possible. For complete information on this project, including a construction schedule, visit

More From Student Life

Mark Your Calendars: Family Weekend 2019 — Parents and family members of all ages are invited to campus to connect with your Dragon family from October 18–20Students and families will get to know Drexel and one another as they share in the fun during this engaging weekend of workshops, educational activities, and more. And in 2020, Family Weekend will be held November 6–9!

Information on Septa ComPass and NJ Transit student discounts — Are you commuting for classes or co-op? Drexel students are eligible for discounts for both SEPTA and NJ Transit. Click here to find out more details and how to order your monthly pass.

Summer Farm Stand at Urban Eatery — Drexel Campus Dining is proud to partner with The Common Market to host a farm stand every other Wednesday, from June 26 through Sept. 4, at Urban Eatery (34th Street and Lancaster Avenue). DragonDollars, cash and Drexel Campus Dining Plans can be used to purchase fresh, local produce and assorted artisanal food items.

Construction updates

What’s under construction this summer? — The summer months are a busy time for Drexel Planning, Design and Construction. With fewer students and faculty on campus, it’s the ideal time to tackle construction and renovation projects both big and small. The slideshow below highlights some of the most significant projects that will be taking place this summer. For a complete update on major campus projects, click here.

Bentley Residence Hall Renovation and Expansion

With the help of a $5 million gift from Greg S. Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, and his wife Caroline, the University is renovating and expanding Bentley Hall (formerly Calhoun Hall), with American Campus Communities serving as the developer. This summer, all of the spaces in the former Calhoun Hall are being renovated as phase one of the project. The first-floor student spaces in the new Bentley Hall are receiving new flooring, ceilings, lighting and furniture; a new central laundry room will also be created. The residential rooms on floors two through eight are receiving new finishes, furniture, windows and HVAC units, and all bathrooms are being completely renovated with all new fixtures and tile. New social and study lounges are being added on each residential floor. Occupancy will start fall 2019. Work has also begun on phase two (pictured) — the approximately 11,500 square foot, two-story addition to relocate the Pennoni Honors College to the heart of the campus. The addition, as well as a complete renovation of the landscaping in front of Bentley Hall, is anticipated to be completed in spring 2020.

Center for Automation Technology (CAT) Renovations

Demolition is nearly complete, and new framing and infrastructure work has begun (pictured) for approximately 5,685 square feet of wet research laboratories and technical support spaces for the College of Engineering in the CAT. The renovations include two new wet research laboratories on the first floor for Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; one on the second floor for Materials Engineering; and two on the third floor for Chemical and Biological Engineering. Substantial completion is expected in winter 2020.

Vidas Bubble

Construction will begin this summer on the foundation work for a seasonal, air-supported structure over the three existing, southernmost tennis courts at the Vidas Athletics Complex, allowing year-round play. The “bubble” is expected to be ready for inflation in late November (see rendering in slideshow).

URBN Center Mechanical Systems Upgrade

The HVAC system for the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design's URBN Center is being upgraded to address the shortage of cooling capacity in the existing system. Interior work for this project was approximately 95 percent complete as of mid-June. The two west-side rooftop air handling units have been replaced (pictured in slideshow), and the new chiller has been installed.

Schuylkill Yards — Bulletin Building Façade (Brandywine Realty Trust)

The grand opening of Drexel Square, the large public realm space serving as the gateway to Schuylkill Yards, was held on June 10. Spark Therapeutics has possession of floors one, two and three of the former Bulletin Building, now known as 3025 Market Street, adjacent to the new park. In mid-June, Brandywine will begin erecting scaffolding for the demolition and installation of a new façade for the building (see rendering in slideshow), which will be completed in the first quarter of 2020. This work, and the removal and construction of a new SEPTA head house (to be started in January 2020), will form the Schuylkill Yards Gateway.

Arlen Specter US Squash Center (US Squash)

Construction will begin this summer on renovations to convert the Armory into a national center for US Squash. The project involves renovation of the interior of the Armory, creating 20 courts, athletic training facilities, audience amenities as well as spaces for community use (see rendering in slideshow). Construction is expected to be substantially complete in early fall 2020 to host the US Open Squash Tournament.