What’s New on Campus: Fall 2023 Updates from Real Estate and Facilities
This article was written by Drexel University Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Alan Greenberger.
Welcome back to campus! Drexel Real Estate and Facilities has been busy all summer on a number of exciting projects. Here’s what you need to know.
Introducing the New and Improved Kelly Hall
The $42 million renovation and expansion of Kelly Hall is complete, and the newly refreshed building welcomed its first cohort of first-year students during Move-in Weekend. Kelly, one of Drexel’s oldest residence halls, has been fully upgraded with new bathrooms, amenities and refreshed bedrooms. The “Commons at Kelly Hall” is a beautiful addition to the building that provides students with new community spaces not only for the residents of Kelly, but also for the entire Drexel community. Students are encouraged to take time to explore the new lounge and study spaces that can be accessed through the new landscape at the addition’s lower level.
Phased Demolition of Myers Hall Is Underway
The first phase of the demolition of Myers Hall, involving the wing of the building closest to Powelton Avenue, was just completed. The demolition clears ground for the construction of a very small building to house essential electrical controls that were previously housed in Myers, but which operate several buildings in the area. Once the new building and new electrical equipment are operational, the remainder of Myers Hall will be demolished and a new, massive recreational field constructed. This new field will be the single largest green space in the core campus, the likes of which Drexel has never had. We anticipate completion of the project in fall 2024.
Picnic Tables Relocated at Buckley Green
This green park continues to be a vital and active place to play and watch volleyball and just hang out. We intend to keep it that way, despite the proximity of nearby construction projects. You’ll see that we have relocated the picnic tables to the Arch Street side of the green, in anticipation of a protective cover that will be erected over the 33rd Street sidewalk in the next few weeks. That cover is a required safety precaution while heavy steel is being lifted for the construction of 3201 Cuthbert St., across the street. When the construction is over, we will return the picnic tables to the shade trees on 33rd Street but probably leave others along Arch Street. By the time that happens in 2024, newly planted trees on the Arch Street side will have grown to add shade cover around the green. Enjoy!
Admire Pars Pro Toto Along Lancaster Walk
Pars Pro Toto, the giant stone spheres by internationally known artist Alicia Kwade, have been reinstalled on the Lancaster Walk green. This highly acclaimed piece is on loan to the University from the Forman Arts Initiative. The spheres are beautiful to experience. Please treat them with the same care you would if you saw them at a museum. And in fact, a second set of spheres by the same artist have been a huge hit on the grounds of the Louisiana Museum in Denmark.
Partnership Projects Are Going Strong
Consistent with our vision to establish a neighborhood of innovation around the core campus on vacant land owned by Drexel, the University’s partners are in the process of building nearly $2 billion worth of projects, primarily for the life sciences, but also including apartments, ground-floor retail and public space. These projects represent the single largest development concentration in Philadelphia in many decades. Once completed, the companies that occupy these buildings will be a source of co-op opportunities, careers and collaborative research. You will be seeing new buildings nearly done or coming out of the ground at Schuylkill Yards and UCity Square, as well as two very large and very deep excavations on Chestnut Street for Spark Therapeutics and at 3201 Cuthbert St. for Gattuso Development Partners, both of which are now coming out of the ground with steel structure. Some of the spaces being developed will be occupied by Drexel to support our ongoing academic needs.
Steel moves quickly. For those of you curious about construction, spend some time watching how it is done. It’s a fascinating process.
A Final Note About Construction….
Whether it’s happening in new or renovated buildings or involves repairing critical infrastructure, construction can be disruptive and at times inconvenient. Drexel Real Estate and Facilities is working hard to minimize problems, and we thank you for your patience. Be assured that the outcomes of these projects will be of great benefit to the University.
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In addition to updates like this one in DrexelNEWS, we also post Facilities Notices (shutoffs, outages, repairs, construction) to a feed that appears on the Drexel Real Estate and Facilities homepage, and we track the progress of major Drexel and partner projects on campus via the Current Projects page.