“To be completely honest I was really disappointed about the move at first because Tyler has a really great community,” said Harry Eichelberger, a senior photography major. “I was worried that in coming to Main Campus we would get lost in the mix.”
After some apprehension from students, much of the Tyler School of Art community is excited about their new home in North Philadelphia.
Carmina Cianciulli, assistant dean for Tyler admissions, said she thinks she’s the most excited person about the move.
“I am the first one who’s packed and ready to go. It’s the right move at the right time to a pretty amazing place,” Cianciulli said.
The buzz surrounding the move translated to a 26 percent increase in applications. “We denied 75 percent more student this year than last,” Cianciulli said.
Therese Dolan, the interim dean for the art school said the Tyler move has been in the making for more than 20 years and that students have known since they were accepted to Temple.
“We have a wait list for the fall and the spring. Admissions was up an enormous amount,” Dolan said. “Main Campus was a draw. People want to be in the new building.”
The new facility cost $76 million and is quadrupling the amount of gallery space when compared to previous space available to students, said William Bergman, the vice president of operations.
“At first I really wanted to go to Elkins Park but when I found out about all of the new technology I got really excited,” said Steph Frank, a freshman fine arts and English major.
Dolan said the smaller workspace at the Elkins Park campus forced students to do their work at strange hours so everyone could be accommodated and use the facilities.
“Art students often work late hours and are in the studio late,” Dolan said. “Now with the new facility there’s going to be less of a crunch.”
Students and faculty won’t be able to use the building until it opens for classes in the spring. Until then, students living on Main Campus must commute to the Elkins Park campus for class.
Some students are refusing to give up on the Elkins Park campus and are choosing to live there instead of moving to Main Campus.
“I have friends who are staying in Elkins Park for the fall and commuting to main campus in the spring,” said Eichelberger, who added that he thinks the commute in the fall will be too much for the incoming freshmen to handle.
Senior sculpture major Chester Zecca said that even though Main Campus has more resources than the Elkins Park campus, he preferred the tight-knit community of Tyler over Main Campus’.
“I feel most people at Tyler don’t really even associate with Temple all that much. I’ve never said I go to Temple University, I always say I go to Tyler School of Art,” Zecca said. “Although Tyler’s campus is pretty outdated and unkept, people take a lot of pride in it. A lot of amazing and incredible things happen at Tyler that would never fly anywhere else.”
Tyler students living on or near Main Campus will have access to Temple’s free shuttles. A specially decorated shuttle bus will be running 24 hours a day from Main Campus to Elkins Park. A competition was held to pick a student to decorate the outside of the bus.
Kristen Jones, a senior sculpture and art education major, was a student-athlete on the track and field team for her first two years at Temple and said commuting from Elkins Park to practices on Main Campus via the shuttle was extremely difficult.
“My main problem was transportation. Shuttling round-trip took up an hour of my day. It was very difficult trying to arrange my class schedule around practices,” Jones said. “Finding transportation back to Tyler at 1 or 2 a.m. when returning from a track meet was almost impossible. My friend and I might have been lucky enough to catch the late night shuttle if we ran.”
She said she is very excited about the move because she and other students will be able to go to events on Main Campus without having to travel.
“I think the Tyler move to Main Campus is very exciting and will be a big change for everyone. The new studios are going to have more space and new equipment,” Jones said.
“Tyler students will be closer to the variety of events that take place at Main Campus. I have talked to students at Tyler who have never been to Main Campus before.”
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.