Merit - SCUP Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus

Community College of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia Facilities Master Plan
Community College of Philadelphia - Community College of Philadelphia Facilities Master Plan
Jury Comments
“. . . very comprehensive . . . tough problems that need good planners to solve. . . don’t have to deal with a lot of land to deal with smart planning . . .”


    • Main Campus: Site – 12 acres; Building – 1.26 million sq ft | Northwest Regional Center: Site – 5.3 acres; Building – 90,000 gsf | Northeast Regional Center: Site – 11.8 acres; Building – 109,000 gsf | West Regional Center: Site – 1.4 acres; Building – 39,000 gsf
    • Minimum LEED Silver for facilities
    • Planning and Design Principles include the following:
      • Integrate Campus with the City: Existing superblocks of the campus need to be broken down to relate to the finer grain and activity of the surrounding context.
      • Create World-Class Facilities: Need to create facilities that provide active edges reflecting programs and activity of the campus.
      • Improve Learning Environments: Existing campus acts as a superstructure with a complex maze of internal circulation shielding interiors and classrooms from daylight.
      • Renew and Open the Core Campus: Outdoor campus spaces need to engage the city with a sense of campus as a place.


The purpose of the Facilities Master Plan was to provide a campus development framework to enhance student success and increase enrollment. The plan recommends the development, design, and renovation of facilities to provide technology-rich, sunlit, comfortable, inspirational environments for learning and recruitment. Feedback from comprehensive community outreach and engagement sessions helped shape the recommendations of this plan, which also included an assessment of existing space and infrastructure needs, and reviews of all current and previous planning documents.

The plan accommodates the need to consolidate leased spaces within the main campus and suggests programming elements for better utilization of its regional centers. Large, multi-purpose spaces for special events are addressed, as well as the need for decentralized, informal group and study spaces, indoors and out. In an innovative move, the college initiated public/private development of a site adjacent to the main campus for market rate/student apartments. Design guidelines and an urban design framework were created to help integrate and connect this development with the main campus. The plan includes transparency and active edges for the campus landscape design, as well as opening up underutilized interior courtyards. With enhanced facilities and wayfinding, the college will be empowered to invite the neighborhood in.

The Facilities Master Plan helps to create a dynamic knowledge community inside and outside the classroom that encourages academic achievement, and accommodates new programs and resources on campus that will foster partnerships with the neighbors as well as the business community.

Project Team

Wallace Roberts & Todd; also Rickes Associates, Inc.