UPENN George A. Weiss Weight Pavilion


  • University of Pennsylvania


  • Crawford Architects


  • Philadelphia, PA

Hunter Roberts Construction Group provided construction management services, including pre-construction, to the University of Pennsylvania for the George A. Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field located at 235 South 33rd Street.  The project involved infilling the northern arcade on the ground level, the mezzanine floor above and an excavated area on the lower level of this historic structure, to accommodate an approximately 52,000-GSF mixed-use athletic training and fitness center. The Pavilion features a 18,600-SF intercollegiate strength and conditioning center dedicated for varsity athletes only; the Robert A. Fox Fitness Center, a two-story space for general University use; retail space; and more than 8,000 SF for future athletic development. The scope of work included relocation of existing bathrooms, new electrical distribution, selective demolition, structural modifications and expansion of existing mezzanine floor, on-grade slab construction and infill over ramps to lower levels, new HVAC systems, and a new entry plaza on the lower level.  A prominent design feature of this project is a glazed curtain wall infill at the existing arches.

Hunter Roberts’ staff faced multiple challenges on this project due to this historic, almost century-old building being revised with many “band-aids” along the way, including the temporary support of four major columns in order to lower the existing connecting pile caps to below the new floor elevation, and exploratory investigations and redesign of the existing underground field drainage systems, requiring extensions through the construction area to the main trench. There was also added scope to the project which included the replacement and relocation of the deteriorated main electrical service and servicing three buildings, including the famous Palestra gymnasium. Hunter Roberts’ project team provided detailed coordination with the University’s staff in order to keep all prescheduled field activities, including the world-renowned Penn Relays, from going off without a hitch. This top training facility is the first ever project of this type to receive a LEED Gold Certification.