News

Student Pavilion closes in preparation for library

The Pavilion closes for general use, but remains open for some activities.

The Student Pavilion closes to make way for a new library. The space lost by closing the Pavilion has been supplemented by Pearson and McGonigle halls. ( HUA ZONG // TTN )

With talked-about, but not official, plans for a new library on North Broad Street, the Student Pavilion has been closed for general use and scheduled for demolition.

The Pavilion, located at 1901 N. 15th St., is scheduled to be demolished in May 2013 to make way for the possible new library, said Director of Campus Recreation Steve Young.

The Board of Trustees approved a $17.5 million budget in March for the design of the new, 21st century 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. No formal approval for the project to move forward has been made.

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

While the 32,000-square-foot facility was closed for general use, the newly renovated Pearson and McGonigle halls have added recreational space to Main Campus. Young said it has piled on to an increasing amount of fitness space for students that he’s seen grow during his 27 years at Temple.

“I don’t know what the number would be. I can’t say it’s 100 times better because it would be like 2,000 times better,” Young said.

“When I started here, keep in mind there was [almost] no fitness, there was a weight room that was shared by classes, students, and athletics,” Young said. “And there was one weight room, maybe 3,000 square feet. We now have over 40,000 square feet of fitness space just for students.”

The newly renovated Pearson-McGonigle not only improves and adds upon existing facilities, but also new recreational amenities that weren’t available at Temple before.

One of those new recreational facilities is the 26-foot rock climbing wall that sits in front of Pearson and McGonigle’s capacious atrium.

Though the 1,135-square-foot rock climbing area is modest in size, the climbing wall is free for students living on Main Campus.

“It’s brand new. Never had a rock climbing wall before, I love the aspect about it,” Mike Joie, a sophomore criminal justice major, said. “I never rock climbed before, except in my seventh grade middle school. It’s a lot of fun, it’s a great workout too.”

New multipurpose courts at Pearson-McGonigle will replace the four synthetic courts at the Pavilion. An entirely new third floor was also added to Pearson-McGonigle and houses four hardwood, multipurpose courts where students can play basketball, volleyball and badminton.

Pearson and McGonigle’s newly constructed third floor adds more than just its hardwood courts. The renovations have also added security.

Quan King, operations manager of Campus Recreation, said that enforcing the bag policy at the Pavilion was challenging. Students would often shed their excess items courtside and sometimes they would be lost or stolen.

“It was very difficult to enforce something where our patrons were apathetic toward it,” King said.

At its renovated location, Campus Recreation has enforced its bag policy more strictly and encouraged patrons to use lockers. King said these measures have cut down on theft.

When the Pavilion was open, lockers were in a separate room. Now in Pearson and McGonigle, lockers hug the third-floor wall, in full view of the courts.

Part of the security measures include clamping down on unauthorized individuals.

It provides a place for individuals to interact and make friends.

“That’s something [about] the culture of informal recreation,” King said. “We not only [want to] nurture that, but kind of steer that in a positive way.”

That means “not influencing our patrons negatively with outside influences” and preventing individuals who “don’t have access [from] being able to sneak in,” King said.

Students not only have to show their identification cards to get into the halls, but they’ll have to swipe their Owl Cards a second time if they want to use the multipurpose courts.

Above the first floor climbing wall lies a new fitness mezzanine equipped with cardio and other workout machines. The area is still under construction and is slated to open by mid-October. The space carries speed bags and heavy bags, and will feature two flat-screen televisions and fitness gaming systems like the Wii and Xbox.

Despite having areas in the Temple University Fitness Center and IBC Student Recreation Center, the mezzanine adds additional another fitness space for students.

“I don’t think we really need it. We have pretty good fitness space, and it’s a separate site to manage. So it’s not what you would call an efficient piece.” Young said. “I don’t know if I would have gone that direction if I had the final say, but the architects like the idea of the mezzanine looking out on Broad Street.”

Young said that the mezzanine will not go unused.

“It’ll get used, without a doubt. If you’re a faculty member in here, you’re a kinesiology major, you’re a dance major, you have classes over here, why would you pick up and go a block and a half to the IBC or the TUF when you can work out right there?” Young said.

Michael Chau can be reached at mike.chau@temple.edu.

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