News

Main Campus undergoing a major facelift

Several construction projects are currently in progress as part of the university’s master plan.

Construction projects on Main Campus costing an estimated $18.8 million are moving forward mostly as scheduled, according to Construction, Facilities & Operations.

Landscape work on Liacouras Walk that aims to develop more social and green space for students, which was intended to open at the start of the school year, is still underway and expected to wrap up by the end of September, said Dozie Ibeh, assistant vice president of the Project Delivery Group. The group contributes to the design and development process of construction projects on campus.

“It took longer than anticipated to get a contractor on board,” Ibeh said.

The project, a part of the Visualize Temple plan, costs an estimated $2 million and has been in the works for about two years. And while the construction is causing disruption for pedestrians, Ibeh said that students will have a “20-foot swatch” from Montgomery Avenue to Polett Walk that allows access into 1810 Licaouras Walk, where Student Health Services and Tuttleman Counseling Services are located.

Once completed, the walkway will be more environmental friendly, complete with LED light fixtures and pervious pavement to improve water runoff, The Temple News reported last March.

The redevelopment along Liacouras Walk is done in conjunction with the beautification renovation efforts of Wachman Plaza and Hall, the latter of which has been completed for the start of the fall semester as scheduled. The project, costing an estimated $11.5 million and also a part of Visualize Temple, offers five floors of classroom space along with more visible entrances and a larger staircase.

Temple is also making its first steps for a new Main Campus library on the site of Barton Hall.

Over the summer, teams have been working to remove hazardous material from the building, Ibeh said. Demolition, which will cost about $2.8 million, is expected by the end of the week, with anticipated completion by the end of the year.

The vacant space will make way for a 210,000 square foot library, costing an estimated $190 million facing Norris Street to the north, Liacouras Walk to the west, Polett Walk to the south and quad space to the east.

The new library, also a part of Visualize Temple, is designed by Snøhetta, a leading Norwegian architecture firm. Plans for the building include a green roof and a balcony along with study and group spaces, 3D printing stations and a “robotic text-retrieval system”—an automated crane that will remove books from high-up shelves.

Other construction plans for the semester include façade restoration on Sullivan Hall, set to be complete by November at the latest.

Construction teams are working on repointing mortar joints to the building’s exterior, which is part of a $2.5 million project.

Demolition for the Triangle Apartment buildings at Broad and Norris streets—which will be replaced with green space on the property—is also expected to be completed by the end of September.

Ibeh calls the current construction “aggressive.”

“We’re going through a pretty intense period in construction, on the exterior,” Ibeh said.

Patricia Madej can be reached at patricia.madej@temple.edu or on Twitter @PatriciaMadej.

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