On November 2, 2017, the University of Pennsylvania announced the exciting news that the Board of Trustees approved plans for New College House West (NCHW), the most recent addition to the College House system. New College House West opened its doors to its inaugural community of residents in August for the 2021-22 academic year, and in the fall of 2022 it opens to its second class of residents with a permanent new name: Gutmann College House, a name honoring Penn's former President Amy Gutmann, who served in the position from 2004 until 2022 when she was appointed the United States' Ambassador to Germany. The building is designed by Bohlin-Cywinski Jackson Architects and features suite-style living spaces, large indoor and outdoor programming spaces, and amenities to support the sophomores, juniors, and seniors who will call it home. Penn Today covered the story of Penn's newest "home away from home."
Construction for the new House began in Spring of 2018 at the corner of Locust Walk, Walnut Street, and 40th Street and stayed on schedule throughout 2020, a year marked by the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
College Houses and Academic Services identified the house's senior staff team during the Spring semester of 2021. House Director, Trina Sokoloski and Dr. Amy Stornaiuolo, Faculty Director, support the staff and faculty representing CHAS in the development of a strong college house community. Dr. David Amponsah and Dr. Orkan Telhan were appointed House Fellows, and twelve undergraduate and graduate resident advisors were hired as the founding leaders for the House.
Trina talked with Penn Today about plans for the community and her enthusiasm for creating the house's identity with its students, faculty, and staff.
The history of the House unfolded throughout 2021 and will continue to do so as the next group of residents move in and make their mark on the community. Students, faculty, and staff will collaborate to develop traditions, make connections, and form a House identity.