Penn GSE renovation and expansion project celebrates a significant milestone

January 30, 2023
A close-up of a senior staff member signing his name with a white marker on a blue Penn flag. It will be flown above the construction project over the next few months.

A senior staff member signs his name on a Penn flag that will fly above the construction project for the next few months. (Joe McFetridge for Penn GSE Communications)

The renovation and expansion project hit a major milestone last week as the final piece of structural steel was lifted into place and secured to complete the new connector between 3700 Walnut and Stiteler Hall. The two buildings are now one and will be fully enclosed within the next few weeks.

To celebrate the “topping off,” Dean Pam Grossman hosted a Champagne toast on Wednesday, Jan. 25 with senior leadership and construction team members, including representatives from the architectural firm Annum, contractors P. Agnes and Penn's Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES). They also signed a Penn flag, which will fly on the new building during construction.

“Today I want to take a moment to acknowledge the hard work and the dedicated team that has gotten us to this place. This could serve as a case study of teamwork in its highest form–a group of individuals with different expertise, different perspectives, different skills–all coming together around a common goal,” the Dean said during brief remarks.

The $35.6-million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2023. It is GSE’s first large-scale expansion and renovation project in more than two decades. When completed, it will unite most faculty and staff in a single facility on campus with classrooms, offices, study and collaborative spaces, as well as support areas.

The School was already "bursting at the seams” when Grossman became dean in 2015; the expansion project is a significant accomplishment of her tenure. Construction officially broke ground on April 19 after years of planning and an ambitious fundraising campaign that began in 2017.