Spring Campus Construction and Renewal Update — April 2024

Read about partnership projects, new updates to Chestnut Street and the new bubble planned for the Vidas Athletic Complex and more about things you don't see going on around campus.
Construction on chestnut st

Chestnut Street crossing construction. Photo courtesy of Irene Tsikitas-Lin.

By: Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities Alan Greenberger

 Hopefully, the extraordinary amount of rain that we have had this winter is behind us and we can look forward to the re-greening of campus. Our grounds crews are already out preparing the campus for spring. You may not be aware that we use very little weed-killing herbicides on our lawns. But through the advocacy of a student group known as Toxic Free Philly Drexel, we piloted a program last year to maintain Drexel Park 100 percent organically. The results have been encouraging, so much so that we will be extending the practices we used at Drexel Park to the rest of campus. Our thanks to Toxic Free Philly Drexel for their collaboration.

Partnership Projects

As you can see every day, private development on University-owned property continues apace. Despite the widely reported downturn in many real estate markets, University City continues to lead the city and region in projects, especially for bioscience. Once completed and occupied, these projects will fulfill several critical goals for the University: more co-op and career opportunities for our students and more collaborative research opportunities for our faculty. For Drexel, the transition from static parking lots adjacent to our core campus is profound and will deliver an extraordinary new vibrancy to campus. We will not only see new innovative businesses in our midst, but also new residences and street-level retail.

At Schuylkill Yards, Brandwine Realty Trust’s new mixed-use building at 3025 John F. Kennedy Blvd. is complete and operational. At 3151 Market St., their new building for science is fully clad and heading towards completion later this year. And at Drexel Square, the new entrance pavilion to SEPTA’s 30th Street Station — now “Drexel Station at 30th Street” — formally opened on April 8. It is fantastic and a great achievement for public transit.

Projects by Spark Therapeutics at 3001 Chestnut St. and by Gattuso Development Partners at 3201 Cuthbert St., are well underway. At the western end of campus, Wexford Science & Technology has completed their building known as One uCity Square and has begun activities in and around the square itself with events, programming and new dining opportunities.

The Core Campus

New campus amenities are moving towards completion. At the site of the former Myers Hall building along 33rd Street, a small new building for electrical equipment is nearly complete and ready to be made operational. Once that building is completed this May, expect to see the remainder of Myers Hall demolished to be replaced with a major new open space, including a large lawn and new surrounding trees, landscape and amenities. The project is on schedule for completion this fall.

At the Vidas Athletic Complex, design documents for the installation of a new practice field that can be enclosed by an inflatable structure (The Buckley Bubble) are complete and out to bid. Construction is scheduled for this summer with completion in the fall.

Chestnut Street

Work has started on the creation of a mid-block crossing on the 3200 block of Chestnut Street. The University has long-advocated for this crosswalk so that our community can more safetly access the Creese/MacAlister complex. The project is being done by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, as Chestnut Street is part of a state highway system. In 2026, when the loan agreement for the artwork “Monument in Waiting” comes to an end, we will be renovating that area of campus to directly connect the Korman Quad to the new mid-block crossing.

The Things You Don’t See

Behind the scenes, there are significant infrastructure project in the works. New electrical switchgear is being installed at Stratton Hall to ensure decades of reliable electrical service to the entire Korman Quad; IT closets throughout campus are being improved to ensure more reliable internet access; and building automation systems (BAS) are being upgraded to improve the energy performance of the campus in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Many people, too numerous to mention here, are involved in these quiet projects. Though the work is not generally visible to the campus community as a whole, we want to recognize the hard work and commitment that is behind them.

How to Get the Latest Facilities Updates

You can opt in to receive email notifications of construction work, scheduled utility shutoffs and other scheduled maintenance work being performed by Real Estate and Facilities by sending an email to listserv@lists.drexel.edu with only the following information in the body of the message: subscribe facilities-notices-L.

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.