Temple’s master planning committee held two town hall-style meetings to inform students, faculty and staff about the future development of Main Campus and the Health Sciences Center.
The committee discussed its three goals, which are creating an environment that fosters intellectual growth, reinforcing the university’s commitment to the community, and defining Temple as a destination.
Kenneth Kaiser, associate vice president and chief financial officer, said the purpose of the meeting was to determine what areas on Temple’s campuses need to be improved.
OLIN, an urban designing and landscaping company, will plan the development projects for Main Campus and TUCC. The firm has complete projects at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University and Penn State University.
Skip Graffam, director of research for OLIN, presented the prospective plans and background information.
He said the firm is planning to create a “campus core” by strengthening the connection between the two campuses and homogenizing building material and campus accessories.
“We want to make sure that Temple’s identity is strong on Broad Street,” Graffam said.
He showed graphics and charts of green space, topography, transportation, water flow and other sites.
An idea proposed was the construction of a gateway or a tall building on Broad and Berks streets. The master planning committee is interested in creating a “campus core” by constructing departmental buildings on vacant lots along Broad Street. It also considered developing commercial properties like restaurants, stores and other retail venues.
To complement the urban landscape of the campuses, the projects will use lamp posts and benches to add to the university’s identity.
The construction of parks is also planned for student and community usage. The Cecil B. Moore and Susquehanna-Dauphin subway stations will be made more accessible for students and residents to promote public transportation.
All planned construction will be done within “the footprint” of Temple, so the campus will not infringe on the surrounding community.
“[We will] make sure Temple is as good as a neighbor as could be,” Graffam said.
Graffam said the campus is not being utilized to its full potential. In a diagram, he showed the poor infrastructure of older buildings and the vast amount of space dedicated to parking lots.
He said some older buildings can be removed and rebuilt, and the amount of parking lots can be reduced and made into garages to fit more cars.
“The city is extremely excited to partner with Temple in many ways,” Graffam said.
Arty Kern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.