A portion of the $30 million funding for Penn Medicine Valley Forge is coming from the Henry P. Erdman Trust. The trust was created almost 100 years ago to finance the expansion of University of Pennsylvania programs to the Valley Forge area.
In the early 1900s, Penn administration and alumni were considering moving the University from its urban location in West Philadelphia to a more suburban setting. Penn alumni, including Erdman, felt the move would preserve the culture of a small college and allow students to focus on achievement, as opposed to just gaining credits toward a degree.
Over the years, land in the Valley Forge area was either purchased or donated to Penn in support of the move. Eventually, the plans for moving the university were dropped and the land was sold in 1972 to become part of Valley Forge National Historical Park and the Chesterbrook corporate center.
Penn remained committed to the Erdman Trust's original goal, and a proposal was created to honor the memory of Erdman and his gift through the construction of a medical center and medical education center, focused on primary care and community medicine.
Penn Medicine Valley Forge is named in honor of its benefactor and will be called the Henry P. Erdman Educational Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Groundbreaking for Penn Medicine Valley Forge was in April 2009 and the building was completed in the summer of 2010. The contractor for the project is IMC Construction of Malvern.
The center is designed as a "green building" and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- (LEED) certified. The design reduces water runoff and uses less energy.
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