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Campus Construction Highlights

Dining and Community Commons construction

Dining and Community Commons

Ongoing Project | Completed Projects

Ongoing Projects

Dining and Community Commons | Roadmap to Zero CarbonUtility Infrastructure, Site Work and Exteriors | Programmatic Initiatives | Infrastructure Revitalization

We are in the midst of a transformative period for our campus and entering a time when various construction projects will reach important milestones. These exciting and necessary projects will have a wide-reaching and long-standing impact on our community, and help the College live into its mission of stewarding our resources towards building a more sustainable future.

The approved plan includes $18 million for capital renewal projects, $4.2 million for the Dining and Community Commons (DCC) construction, and $14.5 million for the implementation of the Energy Plan: The Roadmap to Zero Carbon. Alongside $10.3 million to revitalize existing buildings, the Board approved an additional appropriation of $38.1 million in order to accelerate funding of the plan from the original 10-year timeframe to six years.

Dining and Community Commons (DCC)

The Dining and Community Commons (DCC) project will reimagine the social and dining experiences that are central to Swarthmore’s ability to fulfill its mission of educating the whole person. Learn more about the DCC here.

Roadmap to Zero Carbon (RTZC)

The Roadmap to Zero Carbon (RTZC) is Swarthmore’s bold vision for realizing its goal of carbon neutrality by 2035 through moving the College away from fossil fuel combustion and toward greater use of renewable energy. You can learn more about the RTZC here.

The following projects are part of the fiscal 2023 funding allocation: 

Geo-Exchange Well Field: Drilling and Distribution

The geo-exchange well field on Parrish Lawn is the thermal energy storage for the plant to be constructed in the basement of the Dining and Community Commons. 

Standby Electrical Generation Plant

The plant is essential to address frequent, and sometimes prolonged, power supply failures, and to enable the new Dining and Community Commons to serve as a central support location for the on-campus population in the event of a power failure or weather emergency.

Geoexchange Plant Buildout

The plant is the heart of the new, combustion-free, heating and cooling system for the campus.  The plant shell space was constructed as part of the new dining facility and 50% of the plant equipment will be installed within the initial phase. 

Utility Tunnel, Piping Replacement, North Campus

This project will replace some of the steam system piping in the underground utility tunnel with new geoexchange supply and return piping, to extend these trunk lines from the geoexchange plant to the north terminus of the tunnel at the west end of Parrish Hall.  As the geoexchange system is expanded, the remaining steam system piping will be removed and replaced.

Parrish Hall, Utility Infrastructure Improvements, Phase 1

Significant underground construction will be required to extend the geoexchange supply and return piping from the north terminus of the steam tunnel at the west end of Parrish Hall to the basement of Kohlberg Hall, from which distribution piping will extend to buildings on the north campus.  Along with this new piping, the project will identify, replace, and/or upgrade existing underground utilities, many of which are over 100 years old. 

Tie-In North Campus Buildings & Energy Efficiency Improvements

Continuing the work begun with the Lang Music Building and Pearson Hall HVAC system upgrade projects and construction of Singer Hall, the remaining buildings on the North Quad will be upgraded to connect to the geoexchange system. Energy efficiency improvements will be undertaken concurrent with system replacement to improve the energy profile of those buildings and reduce the load on the geoexchange system, consistent with the planning assumptions which undergird design of the plant. 

Campus and Building Utility Infrastructure, Site Work and Building Exteriors

IT Infrastructure Support

Three categories of budget requests support the IT Infrastructure on campus.

  • The Data Network & Telecom Infrastructure budget supports maintenance and upgrades of the system, including network electronics and associated equipment in buildings, fiber and copper cabling upgrades, and upgrades to /replacement of WiFi equipment.   
  • The Academic Program Learning Space Initiatives budget supports technology maintenance and upgrades in classrooms and other teaching spaces, conference rooms, research computing, and hardware and software supporting the faculty.  
  • The Enterprise Services budget will support maintenance and upgrading of the core campus servers, including disk storage systems, to ensure continued reliable operation of critical applications (e.g. Banner, OneCard, CCTV systems, telephone and voicemail) that are hosted on campus.
Parrish Hall, 3rd and 4th Floor East and North Wing, Central Air Conditioning:  ​​​​​

Parrish Hall is highly preferred as student housing for its central location and historic character.  This project will provide a needed amenity to allow for equitable comfort for east, west and north wing residents in spring and fall and to provide for summer use.

Energy Plan, Project Implementation Costs

This funding, from the Facilities Capital Budget, will support administrative costs associated with the engagement of the program management firm which will assist the College with implementing the Energy and Utility Master Plan. 

Service Building, Window Replacement and Roofing

The Service Building (1962) experiences significant energy inefficiency as a result of single-pane windows.  Replacement with insulated units will improve energy efficiency and comfort. 

OneCard Program, Replace and Upgrade Equipment

This funding will allow for upgrading of the oldest portion of the system with newer technology, and allow for the continued addition of interior locks in residence halls to improve security and reduce keys needed for each individual student room. 

Programmatic Initiatives

Martin Hall Renovation and Repurposing

Martin Hall will be renovated and repurposed to meet pressing academic program needs, with construction beginning in summer 2022 and expected to be complete by summer 2025. Once renovated, the building will house the Computer Science and Film and Media Studies departments, along with the Media Center. Construction in the summer of 2022 will require closure of the stepped path between Martin and LPAC, through September. An alternate, accessible, route from the North Quad to Lang Music Building will be available by traveling through LPAC.


Clothier Field/Skallerup Track, Rebuild Track, and Refurbish Field

This project will address a significant program need of the Athletics and Physical Education Department.  The track surface has exceeded its useful life and requires numerous patches each year to address potential hazards.  The field carpet has exceeded its useful life and requires replacement. 

Faculty Office and Lab Alterations

The budget will be used for minor alterations to offices and labs to support the teaching and research interests of new faculty hires.  

Athletics, Phased Alterations

This funding will augment prior funding to complete planned renovations of the home team locker rooms and administrative suite to extend the life of these spaces until a more comprehensive plan for renovation or new construction can be implemented.

Science Center, Repurpose Intro Biology Lab

This lab was vacated when the Biology Department moved to Singer Hall.  Renovation to convert the space to a Computer Science classroom and study spaces will provide immediate relief to some of the most severe space constraints of the department.

Cunningham Fields,  Enabling Project Design

Replacement and modification of the athletics facilities on the south campus may require relocation of some functions to the Cunningham Fields site in order to free up space needed to improve facilities at the current site.  The initial design effort is anticipated to provide the level of design detail and project cost information sufficient to inform strategic institutional decision-making and priority-setting 

Beardsley Hall, Comprehensive Renovation (Schematic Design (SD) and SD Project Cost Estimate)

Building on the framework study completed in 2018, a programmatic and feasibility study was completed this year to explore how the building can best be repurposed to better support the current occupants, Art and Art History, Philosophy, and ITS.  With portions of the Art Department relocated to Whittier Hall in early 2022, the College has the opportunity to reallocate space in the building and to design a wholly new mechanical system and associated building envelope and energy efficiency improvements to connect the building to the geoexchange system and provide improved air quality and comfort for building occupants.  The schematic design and associated project cost estimate will help inform institutional decision-making and priority setting as this project is evaluated in the context of other institutional needs and priorities.  

Building and Infrastructure Revitalization  

Our buildings and infrastructure play a vital role in creating a rewarding residential experience for our students and in supporting the work of our faculty and staff. Over the next several years, the College will undertake a series of infrastructure revitalization and space improvement projects across campus, focused on updating a range of spaces to meet academic and other needs. The following projects are currently underway:

Worth Residence Hall/Bond Memorial Hall/The Lodges

This complex of buildings requires significant restoration of the slate roofs and masonry exteriors, along with window replacement, as the initial phase of a comprehensive renewal project which will significantly increase the energy efficiency and programmatic utility of these buildings and provide immediate comfort improvements for students. 

Old Tarble, Building Envelope Study and Repairs, Phase 2

The study and initial repairs undertaken in FY 2021-22 led to a more comprehensive evaluation of the building envelope and identification of significant issues related to roofing, masonry, and the large leaded stained glass window in the west facade.  This project will restore the building envelope to facilitate continued use by the Art and Art History Department for its drawing/painting and photography teaching studios.

Parrish Hall, 3rd and 4th Floors

The scope of work in this phase includes replacement of the mechanical system, fire alarm system and elevator modernization on all floors.  Windows on the 3rd and 4th floors will be retrofitted to improve energy efficiency.  Interior finishes will be replaced and the bathrooms will be renovated.  Card access will be installed for all student rooms.

101. S. Chester Road

The scope of work includes replacement of the building’s curtain wall envelope with a highly energy-efficient envelope, including windows, spandrel panels, doors, etc.  The roof will be replaced, and the basement foundation walls will be sealed.  The fire alarm system will be replaced and fire suppression will be added to the third and fourth floors.  Privacy window blinds will be added at some conference rooms.

Benjamin West House

Foundation repairs, masonry restoration, waterproofing, window replacement and thermal insulation are required.  The fire alarm and fire suppression systems will be replaced, along with the primary electrical panel, all wiring, lighting and tele/data wiring.  The restrooms will be renovated and interior finishes will be replaced and space needs will be assessed. Card access will be installed for interior rooms.

Alice Paul Residence Hall

Exterior caulking, selective repointing and weather-stripping will be completed.  Some mechanical equipment will be replaced. The fire alarm system will be replaced.  Light fixtures and tele/data cabling will be upgraded and the elevator will be modernized.  Corridor ceilings and flooring will be replaced, along with repairs/fixture replacements in the bathrooms.  Card access will be installed for interior rooms.

 Ashton House

Work includes replacing all windows and French doors with historically appropriate units, repairing/replacing wood trim, shingles, flashing, gutters, pointing, etc.  Inside finishes will be refreshed.  An accessible restroom will be created on the first floor.  Mechanical systems and electrical wiring will be replaced. 

Cunningham House

The exterior scope of work includes basement waterproofing and window replacement with historically appropriate units. The fire alarm system will be replaced and sprinklers installed.  Two air handling units will be replaced, along with lighting and tele/data wiring.  A new fire escape from the second floor will be installed and the restrooms will be renovated.  Interior finishes will be refreshed.

Underground Infrastructure Replacement & Scott Amphitheater

Much of the existing underground utility infrastructure on the campus is very old.  The Deferred Maintenance Study identified significant aged systems, including the following estimated lengths:

  • 5,500 linear feet of domestic water piping over 70 years old  
  • 10,400 linear feet of sanitary sewer that is over 60 years old
  • 2, 800 linear feet of storm water drainage piping over 70 years old

Most of the replacement of aged underground infrastructure will occur when excavating in the same vicinity for installation of new low temperature hot water piping associated with the district geoexchange system.  Allocation of these funds as part of the initial funding for accelerated deferred maintenance is important to maintain the anticipated pace of implementation of the Energy Plan.  

Funding for the Scott Amphitheater will address damage to the stone seating walls, stone treads and coping stones.  The rubble stone retaining wall behind the stage will be rebuilt. New accessible ramps will be constructed to match the site architecture, and new event canopy and cable suspension systems will be installed.  Drainage will be assessed to determine requirements for stormwater management system improvements. ​​

Completed Projects

  • Lang Music Building Upgrades (2021)
  • Maxine Frank Singer '52 Hall (2021)
  • Mertz Residence Hall Renewal (2021)
  • Pearson Hall Upgraes (2021)
  • Whittier Hall Repurposing (2021)