Temple's ongoing new construction will be substantial but will not push further into the residential areas of North Philadelphia, university president Ann Weaver Hart said Tuesday.
Hart, in a meeting with the Inquirer Editorial Board, disclosed details of the ongoing $1.2 billion expansion of Temple's main campus, noting that the size of the university's footprint in North Philadelphia will not increase.
As The Inquirer reported last year, Temple's expansion will develop the university's Broad Street corridor.
The project includes a 1,500-bed residence hall, a $48 million renovation of the Pearson and McGonigle Hall sports and fitness complex, a new Architecture Building, and a Science Education and Research Building.
"What we are working on is to bring more of our students into the urban center of our campus, which is Broad Street," Hart said.
Temple plans to fund the project from its budget which includes state and federal aid. The construction will serve the university at its current size of 27,000 students, she noted.
One key to the 10-year plan, dubbed Temple 20/20, is the construction of a $148 million residence hall and retail complex on the east side of Broad Street between Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Oxford Street.
Hart noted that the residence hall will complement the Avenue North apartment and retail complex and the View movie theater on the opposite side of Broad Street. Construction began this fall is expected to be completed by fall 2012.
The complex is expected to create 110 new jobs, most of them dedicated to residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Hart said a new parking deck would be built a few blocks east of Broad Street to ease any parking problems along Broad Street. She did not specify the location of the parking deck or how many spaces it would provide.
City Councilman Darrell L. Clarke in an interview said that despite the plan, parking in the area remains a concern in the community.
Parking "continues to be a challenge in spite of the fact that community groups issued a letter of support," for the 20/20 plan, said Clarke, whose district includes the Temple campus. He said those same groups "still don't feel comfortable with the parking strategy."
Clarke noted that a surge in private-market student housing in the neighborhoods west of Broad Street in recent years has raised tensions between students and long-term residents.
A $48 million renovation and expansion of the Pearson and McGonigle Halls on Broad at Montgomery will add 140,000 square feet to the existing 225,000 square feet. Construction stated in May and completion is set for fall 2011.
Hart said that in addition to expanded exercise space, classrooms and offices, the halls would include, for the first time, practice facilities for the men's and women's basketball teams.
The complex will feature a metal and glass front and an atrium that will make it more inviting.
"The idea is that we want our neighbors, the community and . . . everybody driving up and down Broad Street to feel this is a welcoming place and it provides more of a facility for our students," Hart said.
A short distance from Broad and Montgomery, a new library is planned for construction on Broad Street across from the university's Baptist Temple. Hart did not specify the cost or timetable for the new library.
On the interior of the campus, a new $10 million Architecture Building on 13th Street at Diamond Street is under construction. Hart said the 50,000 square foot building will complete a mini-arts quad that includes the existing Tyler School of Art, Boyer College of Music and Dance and the Department of Theater.
At 12th Street and Pollett Walk, the university plans to build a 250,0000-square-foot Science Education and Research Building. The $100 million project will feature new labs, classrooms and offices. No construction timetable has been set.
A one block stretch of green space is planned along 13th Street. The 21/2 acre area - the largest green space on the campus - will result from demolition of a campus building, Hart said.
She emphasized that the university had a variety of town hall meetings with neighborhood groups about the 20/20 plan and that the groups issued letters in support.
"We met with leaders of our community council before we ever started the planning process."
She said the plans will include hundreds of scholarships for residents from Temple's adjacent neighborhoods to attend the university.
Clarke said he wants to make sure the scholarships enable residents to attend Temple, noting that in the past some scholarships were unused.
"There needs to be a strategy between Temple, the School District, and the community," Clarke said. "There needs to be a specific game plan to make sure students take advantage of those scholarships."
Clarke said he supported the 20/20 project but "we've agreed that there will be ongoing conversations on their plans. At the end of the day, having a billion dollars' worth of construction in this economic climate in terms of the city is very good."