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New multi-use facility to be built

The Board of Trustees recently approved construction of the $28.5 million project.

At a March 15 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a $28.5 million indoor recreation, athletics and College of Public Health facility.

This facility will be built at the corner of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue, behind Pearson-McGonigle Halls.

The new building will contain an indoor recreation and training center, a large athletic and recreation practice facility and physical therapy/occupational therapy classrooms and labs for the College of Public Health.

Funds from the project will come from university bonds and the College of Public Health. The College of Public Health will contribute $8.5 million to the project, which will cover the portion of the facility it will use.

Currently, the College of Public Health does not have a facility on Main Campus for its physical therapy and occupational programs, both of which are graduate programs. Students travel to the Health and Sciences Campus to do the labs.

“We have been in desperate need for clinical classroom space for our physical therapy and occupational therapy programs,” said Laura Siminoff, Dean of the College of Public Health. “We will be able to provide our really, really outstanding clinical faculty and our great students with really first class space for clinical education.”

“It’s critical for our programs,” she added.

Construction for the project will begin in May and is projected to be completed in 14-16 months, setting the completion date somewhere between July-September 2017.

The new facility will be used for academics and athletics, as well as recreational use by students. There will be a climbing wall, juice bar, large fitness center, classrooms clinics and a large indoor turf field.

A plaza and jogging track with protective guard rails will make up the exterior of the structure.

Dozie Ibeh, associate vice president for the university’s Project Delivery Group, said other specific details about the project are still being discussed, and should be available by the middle of mid-April.

Temple’s athletic teams and clubs sports currently share the Student Pavilion for practice space. The university spent $290,000 to turn the Student Pavilion into a 32,000-square-foot indoor practice facility in 2013.

Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon told The Temple News in 2013 there were financial and logistical problems for constructing a new building for athletic purposes.

Temple is also set to open two fields and an athletic facility at the former site of William Penn High School in August. The university spent $15 million to buy the property, and the project will cost an estimated $22 million.

Owen McCue can be reached at owen.mccue@temple.edu or on Twitter @Owen_McCue.

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