News

Design yet to start on library

Officials said design will start late this year or early next year.

Construction for a 21st-century library is in the beginning stages with the recent closure of the Student Pavilion, which is scheduled to be demolished in May 2013.

The Board of Trustees approved a $17.5 million budget in March for the design of the new library. Funding for the construction of the project will consist of $140 million from the state, including $90 million in annual capital grants and $50 million from bond debt, officials said in the spring.

“We have about 60 days of contract development to finalize,” James Creedon, senior vice president for construction, facilities and management, said.

Creedon said he expects design of the library to begin late this year or early next year.

Creedon said estimating the start of construction did not need board approval, but awarding additional construction contracts does require further approval from the trustees.

Construction for the new library will happen west of Broad Street, taking the place of the Pavilion at 1901 N. 15thSt. and a parking area. Paley Library will be closed and renovated into another learning center with new technology, meeting rooms, classrooms and public spaces.

Creedon said that although he didn’t know the exact cost for renovation, he does know that new construction would not have been significantly more.

“Paley was identified as being needed to be upgraded,” Creedon said. “Plus, we would have considerable cost in locating a temporary site for a library while we renovate and [it would be] difficult…to keep it open while we renovated.”

The Pavilion is currently used as extra space for intramural activities or athletic clubs until its demolition, but student organizations and non-Temple groups can also rent the court space for special events and activities.

Many students within the Temple community were unaware of the changes with the Pavilion and the future of Paley, but feel that a new library would not inconvenience them too much.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Morgan Watkins, communications studies major, said. “With technology progressing I think that it would be nice to have an upgrade.”

Watkins would like to see a bigger and more advanced version of Paley once the new library is built, complete with possible study lounges where group study sessions could be held.

He added that in terms of what is done with old Paley he would like the idea of it being a meeting place for students.

“I think that would be a good idea,” Watkins said. “I’m a transfer student, so I think it would be a nice place to go somewhere and meet new people.”

Anthony Wagner, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, said that none of the $140 million in grants has been spent.

“We are really at the very beginning of the project,” Wagner said.

Creedon added that the university plans to put a lot of time into planning space in the building.

“It is too early to estimate when a design will be ready,” Creedon said. “After we finalize the contract, we plan to invest time in making sure we develop the space program, in other words, what goes inside correctly before we launch the full design.”

Creedon said that design hasn’t started and the university will not discuss with the Temple community what will be going into the library until early 2013. A design of what the library will look like is still six to eight months away as the university is still negotiating contracts with the architect, he said.

Currently, the university has received proposals from project managers to assist design with cost and logistics which are currently under review, Creedon said.

Dominique Johnson can be reached at dominique.johnson@temple.edu.

Haley Kmetz contributed to this report. 

[Updated: 10/23 6:46 p.m. The Temple News previously reported that James Creedon said construction would start late this year or early next year. This post has been corrected to state that Creedon said design would start late this year or early next year.]

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