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SugarLoaf Campus Entryway Project

SugarLoaf Campus Entryway Project

rendering of Sugarloaf entrance updates


Read More About the SugarLoaf Groundbreaking Ceremony!


In 2006, Chestnut Hill College (CHC) purchased the 32-acre SugarLoaf property adjacent to campus. The College worked closely with the community to ensure SugarLoaf would retain its character in one of the most beautiful and vibrant areas of the city, and this is reflected in the College’s 2008 Master Plan.  

Over the last decade, the SugarLoaf campus has become a fully integrated and vital component of the College’s strategic vision for the future, with the property demonstrating significant potential to benefit both our own students and the broader communities we serve. 

However, even when Chestnut Hill College purchased the SugarLoaf property in 2006, we recognized the site’s access limitations. It was clear from the start that improvements were needed to ensure the College’s future use of this exceptional campus addition while also promoting safe travel to and from the site, primarily along the Germantown Avenue corridor. 

To mitigate these issues, the College is excited to break ground on a new entrance project that will create a safer, more welcoming entryway to Chestnut Hill College’s SugarLoaf campus, while offering improved traffic flow and a beautifully enhanced gateway to the Chestnut Hill community. 

In addition, the project includes a beautiful, scenic trail way that will improve pedestrian and cyclist access to the campus, Fairmount Park, Forbidden Drive, the Morris Arboretum, Woodmere Art Museum, and the Chestnut Hill Business District. The project will incorporate a range of traffic calming and other safety features to enhance pedestrian safety, including a newly redesigned traffic intersection at Hillcrest Avenue. And no less important, the project will improve stormwater management and include strategic landscaping and drainage to reduce soil erosion in the area, reinforcing the College’s mission-driven commitment to a sustainable Earth. 

These improvements at SugarLoaf come at a pivotal moment in our history, and are poised to represent a truly transformational change for Chestnut Hill College. 


Entryway Project Background

With a commitment to maintaining greenspace and improving pedestrian access, CHC completed an extensive design and planning process that would incorporate the SugarLoaf campus into the Chestnut Hill College Master Plan. The Master Plan was then approved by the City of Philadelphia in 2010.  

The College has worked closely with local elected officials, community organizations, and businesses to ensure that the project benefits the broader Chestnut Hill community. In this regard, the College acknowledges the outstanding leadership of State Senator Art Haywood and State Representative Chris Rabb in securing vital state funding for the upcoming roadway improvements. 

Additionally, CHC collaborated with Morris Arboretum and the Wissahickon Valley Watershed to preserve and enhance the natural landscape throughout the entryway and the new walking trail. 

This important project will allow the College to fully realize the potential of the SugarLoaf campus, while improving traffic safety and pedestrian access along Germantown Avenue. 


SugarLoaf Campus Project FAQs


April 11 SugarLoaf Entryway Update - Virtual Community Meeting


Morris Arboretum Review of SugarLoaf Landscaping Plan (February 2022)


Phase 1A Archaeological Survey (March 2022)

Final Report (PDF)


Rockwell Associates Tree Assessment (February 2022)

CHC Tree Map (PDF)

CHC Tree Protection Detail (PDF)

CHC Trail Summary Report (PDF)

CHC Tree Assessment Matrix Report for Trail (PDF)


SugarLoaf Master Plan and SPIN Zoning Ordinance

SugarLoaf Master Plan (PDF)

SPIN Zoning Ordinance (PDF)


Transportation Impact Study for Proposed SugarLoaf Campus Access: January 2021 (PDF)

Transportation Impact Study for Proposed SugarLoaf Campus Access: March 2020 (PDF)


Trailway Lighting Plan and Illumination Levels

Overall Lighting Plan (PDF)

Lighting Plan Illumination Levels (PDF)

Lighting Plan Illumination Levels - Trailway (PDF)

Read More

Ongoing Project Timeline

Beginning November 2021 

Onsite construction work begins on SugarLoaf Campus property. This includes primarily site preparation, redirecting and constructing on-campus roadways to connect to the new entryway, and building retaining walls. No offsite impact is anticipated. 

Site clearing and tree removal for construction was completed in December, per approved City of Philadelphia permit. Temporary stormwater management improvements (including a temporary sediment trap to collect runoff from the site during rain events prior to stabilization in order to control sediment prior to it leaving the site) are in place.  This temporary measure was installed in the initial stages of excavation, and will remain until the inlets and piping are installed to convey the stormwater to the permanent underground storm basin.

Installation of the underground stormwater management basin was completed in January 2022. Once the inlets and piping are fully installed, stormwater will be collected via storm drains and directed via underground storm piping to the installed underground water retention structure which will be covered by soil and landscaping. These measures conform to City and DEP requirements and have received permits. The area surrounding the project will be restored using native plant species. The Philadelphia Water Department conducts regular site inspections and, to date, has identified no issues or concerns to be addressed.

Update: 2/22/2022

While tree removal related to construction for the Hillcrest Avenue intersection project was completed in December per approved City of Philadelphia permit, at the request of near neighbors the College hired Rockwell Associates to complete a full inventory of trees within striking distance to the trail and Germantown Avenue. The report contains a complete a risk assessment and a health and longevity review and condition rating for each tree.

In addition, the College asked Morris Arboretum’s Urban Forestry consultants – together with an arborist hired by the near neighbors – to meet onsite and participate in the walkthrough that led to the report. The report, which has been shared with both the Morris Arboretum and the near neighbors, and all supporting material are available above on this webpage.

Within the scope of the trail location and proximity to Germantown Avenue, 47 Trees were identified at levels of risk with recommendation for removal. Seven of these are in need of immediate removal due to safety concerns and are scheduled to be removed starting February 23, 2022.

The trees slated for immediate removal are seven dead or dying Ash trees located along the bank above Germantown Ave. Locations are identified on the reference map included with the report (initial removal will be from groupings 10, 14, and 15).

Beginning Spring 2022 

Offsite construction begins to improve the Hillcrest Avenue intersection at SugarLoaf. This phase of construction includes the introduction of a slightly widened intersection, together with incorporating left-hand turn lanes on both Hillcrest and Germantown Avenues, as well as the synchronization of traffic lights on Germantown Avenue at both Hillcrest Avenue and Bells Mill Road. These measures are designed in partnership with the City’s Streets Department to improve traffic safety and flow along the Germantown Avenue corridor. 

Additionally, the construction of a scenic pedestrian trail is yet another hallmark of this pivotal project. The beautiful wooded pathway will connect SugarLoaf to the College’s historic main campus at the foot of the Wissahickon Bridge, providing a safe and serene thoroughfare for our faculty, staff, and students, as our Chestnut Hill Community neighbors. To ensure our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, this work follows the College’s plan to utilize native, non-invasive species of trees and other foliage that already is underway throughout the SugarLoaf campus. 

Additional project details and milestones will be updated on this site as progress continues. Questions? Please contact sugarloaf@chc.edu

Project Renderings

Sugarloaf renderingSugarloaf Rendering - projected view in 2023 (springtime)

SugarLoaf rendering

SugarLoaf rendering

SugarLoaf rendering

Sugarloaf renderingSugarLoaf rendering: projected view of campus in 20 years (fall)