Two committees on the Board of Trustees held a meeting Sept. 21 primarily concerning the construction financing for Alter Hall of the Fox School of Business and Temple Japan’s debt.
The Budget and Finance Committee and the Executive Committee approved a plan made by the Facilities Committee Sep. 14, which authorizes an amount of $79,042,377 for Alter Hall and the right to renovate sections of Speakman Hall.
The Fox School is required to raise another $4 million to fully fund the project.
According to the meeting’s agenda, other forms of funding come from University Unused Debt Service Carry Over Funds, State Capital Funds, University Bond Proceeds and fundraising by the Fox School of Business and Management to name a few.The board’s approval for this project eliminated all other decisions previously made about the new Alter Hall.
“The building was really knocked down too early,” said Amanda Beisel, a junior in pre-law, of Curtis Hall. “So many classes had to be reassigned that were supposed to take place in the old building. It is a slow process and it seems that there is not too much effort going into the project.
“Senior economics and accounting major Sonny Vernard said he understood that a major project such as the construction of Alter Hall takes time. “Our school now is a sort of archaic building, and we have competition out there, Vernard said. “In the long run I can see the new Alter Hall being an advantage and attracting new students.
“The debt of Temple Japan was also discussed during the meeting. In order to pay off loans for the campus abroad, the Budget and Finance Committee and the Executive Committee approved the establishment of a not-for-profit Japanese company to replace the current for-profit company, Temple Educational Support Services, Ltd., hoping it will be a resolution to the debt.
“TUJ now has $3 million in surpluses. Within two years, we are expecting $4 million in surpluses,” said board member Robert Reinstein, who is also the Dean of the School of Law and Vice President of International Programs.
The university is currently paying $300,000 per year towards the loan.
“There is no guarantee that this is going to succeed, but the university does have the support of the U.S. Embassy, Senator Arlen Specter and the Japanese government,” Reinstein said.
The Japanese economy is currently in a recession, and, the board explained, it would not be surprising if a tax raise would occur within the next year. In the past year, the university spent $500,000 on tax consumption alone.
At the meeting, the board also approved entering the university into a 15-year lease, allowing the Shriners Hospital for Children to occupy the sixth floor of the new Medical School building.
Megan Kelsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.