Members of the Powelton Village Civic Association held a tense meeting with Drexel University officials to discuss in further detail about the impending expansion of the campus into the community.
“As we drive the university forward, it’s important for us, and that’s what this project does, is to get kids out of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Senior Vice President of Drexel’s Office of Government and Community Relations Brian Keech.
Representatives of the campus attempted to paint their plans in the best light possible to the group of roughly 50 Powelton residents. The Drexel officials repeatedly emphasized two key points about the development plans.
First, they explained the ultimate design of the proposed massive student housing complex will assuage the current influx of Drexel students into the surrounding neighborhood.
Second, the Drexel officials attempted to persuade those in attendance the new building plans would include retail shopping and a dining facility, both of which they urged would be not only for Drexel students and staff but also neighboring Powelton residents.
After the presentation, the Drexel officials departed to give the members of the Powelton Civic Association time to discuss their feelings about the campus expansion. Michael Jones attempted to prioritize the concerns of the group but the discussion was strained when a consensus seemed impossible.
Jones, as the acting representative of the community, urged the members to establish what areas of negotiation could not be conceded to Drexel.