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College Selects Phila-Based Firm to Design Town Center West Project

College Selects Phila-Based Firm to
Design Town Center West Project

by Alisa Giardinelli

town center west site
The Town Center West site is located on the south edge of campus, adjacent to the athletic facilities and in close proximity to the train station and the center of the Borough's retail district.

Swarthmore College has selected Cope Linder Architects to design Town Center West (TCW), including an inn, restaurant, and expanded campus bookstore, planned for the southeast corner of campus and across from the existing town center of Swarthmore Borough. The Philadelphia-based firm of architects, landscape architects, and planners is charged by the College with designing the mixed-use project, which will serve as a physical and social link between the Borough and the College, promoting collaboration, communication, and opportunities for intellectual engagement involving the entire community.

"Cope Linder demonstrated both an intuitive understanding of the numerous stakeholders in the project," says C. Stuart Hain, Swarthmore College vice president of facilities and services, "as well as consideration of the larger context of the project for the College and the Borough."

Cope Linder and their team have extensive experience in developing mixed-use and hospitality projects, along with academic and historical preservation work. The team has strong credentials in, and a commitment to, sustainable design, including LEED and LEED-equivalent projects for the hospitality industry and higher education. They were among the design teams that worked on Philadelphia's Cira Center and Reading Terminal Headhouse, and they recently completed design for Turner Park, a 20-acre mixed use development in Omaha, Neb. Following a series of kick-off meetings this month, Cope Linder will begin design and will work with the College to shepherd the project through the Borough approval process.

The Swarthmore Town Center West project has been under discussion since 1999, when a planning document with recommendations for an inn, new south College entrance, and the relocation of the College bookstore, was prepared in the context of a Swarthmore Borough Revitalization plan. Relocation of existing underground utilities and the softball field will begin this summer, and construction of the new buildings is slated to start in fall 2012. Occupancy is expected by late spring 2014.