In a letter to the Drexel University community, President John A. Fry announced May 5 that the Hyman Korman Foundation has given $8 million to Drexel University towards the expansion and repurposing of the Korman Center. Matching the foundation’s gift with $8 million of the University’s own money, Drexel plans to redesign the Korman Center and “create a classic campus green” in what will be named the Korman Quadrangle.
President Fry wrote that Korman’s transformation will change the entire campus, “When the new Korman Quadrangle connects Perelman Plaza with Gerri C. LeBow Hall, the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building and a new two-story, 8,000-square-foot solarium fronting the Korman Center, the heart of Drexel’s campus will have been completely remade into a modern, inviting space where our community can gather.
“New walkways, landscaping and seating will be enhanced by a substantial increase in greenery, complementing Perelman Plaza’s emphasis on surfaces that accommodate heavy foot traffic and large gatherings. The renovation of the Korman Center will also include new classroom and student lounge space,” Fry wrote.
This gift will all but completely reconstruct the Korman Center. The front of building will be drawn out towards the new Korman Quadrangle with an 8,000 square-foot solarium, a section of the building that has been designed with glass walls to allow sunlight. The solarium will house a new building entrance along with a modern, technologically savvy student lounge repurposed from the original Korman Center lobby.
The second floor of the building will contain a new classroom in addition to a second student lounge overlooking the Quad. A planted screen wall will face out from the northwest side of the building, providing those in the Korman Center with a view of 33rd and Market streets where the statue of University mascot, “Mario the Dragon,” sits. This screen wall is also expected to mimic the infamous biowall in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building.
The installment and landscape of the Korman Quadrangle is designed to go hand-in-hand with Drexel’s concrete Perelman Plaza, finished in late 2014.
Renovating the Korman Quadrangle is expected to strengthen the connection of Chestnut and Market streets and Perelman Plaza. By adding new walkways and creating more seating and green space, the plans for the Korman Center’s renovation are intended to make the area more alluring and attractive to students and faculty, as well as visitors.
Korman was originally built in 1977, memorializing alumni Max Wm. Korman ‘29 and his brother Samuel J. Korman ‘34 who served as a trustee of Drexel. The Hyman Korman Foundation’s trustees are Berton, Leonard and Steven Korman who have provided the funds for these renovations set to start in June of 2016 and end in the fall of 2017.