Ceremony breaks ground

Last week’s ceremony introduced the new architecture building.

Last week’s ceremony introduced the new architecture building.

On Sept. 15, students, community members, alumni and faculty gathered in the courtyard outside the Tyler School of Art to witness the groundbreaking for the new $10 million architecture building slated to be finished by next fall. President Ann Weaver Hart and Board of Trustees Chair Patrick O’Connor led the ceremony.

The new facility will be 40,000 square feet and include 40 new computer labs. Temitayo Fasusi, a senior architecture student, spoke at the event, emphasizing the importance of the new building to the students.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity,” Hart said and praised the hard work that has gone into the project so far.

The project is a part of Temple’s 20/20-plan framework, Hart said, referencing plans for renovations and development to take place in the next few years in order to transform Main Campus into a 21st century site. In addition to the architecture building, 20/20 plans include a new residence hall and the renovation and expansion of Pearson and McGonigle halls, among others.

“These are not facilities for their own sake,” Hart said, praising a collaboration of education and creativity.

“We intend to make this campus into a beautiful place to live and learn,” O’Connor said of the new building and the 20/20 plan in general.

Funding for the architecture department’s new building, which will complete a “mini-arts quad” anchored by the Tyler School of Art, was provided by a $10 million state capital allocation. Construction is set to begin immediately.

“This is a project that completes our mini-arts campus, as a part of making Temple a ‘destination campus,’” Ray Betzner of University Communications said.

The mini-arts quad will include Tyler, the Boyer College of Music and Dance and the School of Communications and Theater.

The architecture program has been at Temple for 40 years, Tyler Dean Robert Stroker, who introduced the speakers, said at the ceremony.

“Today we celebrate a new opportunity for our architecture students,” he said. Stroker called the day history for not only art students, but everyone at Temple.

Stroker said the building was planned to anticipate future growth and praised the introduction of three new undergraduate degree programs, as well as the coming of a new master’s program in the architecture department. As of this fall, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in architecture, Bachelor of Science in facility management and in architectural preservation.

“I walked this campus in 1982, as an 18-year-old,” Mitchell Morgan, a board facilities committee chairman, said in reference to the changes he has witnessed on Main Campus after he left for 10 years. “What I’ve seen is amazing to me.”

Valerie Rubinsky can be reached at valerie.rubinsky@temple.edu.

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