Construction on track for new facility

The Student Health and Wellness Center will hold classes and a weight room.

A construction worker oversees the building of the new Student Health and Wellness Center on the corner of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue. JACOB MCGLEW FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

Construction workers are in the middle of pouring the foundation for the new Student Health and Wellness Center on the corner of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue.

James Templeton, the university’s director of Architecture Services, said construction of the building is still in its early stages. Near the end of October or beginning of November, students should start seeing the construction of steel frames for different parts of the building.

At the beginning of June, Temple broke ground on the center.

Designed by Moody Nolan, the same firm overseeing the potential construction of a football stadium near Temple’s Main Campus, the three-story building will be a multi-use facility for athletics and the occupational therapy and physical therapy departments of the College of Public Health.

“[The Student Health and Wellness Center] features a number of really exciting program elements,” said Templeton.

The building will also have a fitness center for weight training that Campus Recreation “desperately needs,” Templeton said, adding it will allow them to repurpose their already existing spaces.

“I like how the free weight space is being doubled,” said Ronnie Lee Rhodes, an undeclared freshman in the College of Liberal Arts. “[It’s hard] when you go to IBC [Student Recreation Center] and there are so many people there that you can’t even do the workout you were hoping to do.”

Templeton also described plans for what he calls “the field house,” a large indoor facility to be used in poor weather conditions with its main entrance on the corner of 15th Street and Montgomery Avenue.

“The lobby itself is going to have a climbing wall, a juice bar, and lounge areas that overlook the climbing wall,” Templeton said. “We’ll have members of the College of Public Health and Campus Recreation coming through there all the time, so it’s going to be a very exciting space.”

“The Health and Wellness Center will be pretty cool,” said Steven Hoffman, a sophomore music education major.  “But it occurs to me that all three exercise spaces, IBC, Pearson and this one will be west of Broad Street. Not exactly more convenient.”

The facility will have updated laboratories and classrooms.

“We worked exclusively with the faculty and administration of the College of Public Health to design all the spaces in the facility,” Templeton said. “They’ve built in a lot of flexibility.”

Some classrooms will have movable partitions that allow them to divide one laboratory into four separate rooms or combine into a single, large space to fit the particular needs of the classes for that day, he said.

Designs for the College of Public Health’s wing include lounges and study spaces built into the corridors to allow students to collaborate as well as accomplish individual activities.

Templeton said the university worked closely with the Philadelphia Water Department to ensure that any storm water accumulated outside the building will be captured rather than flushed into the storm system.

“We have been managing most of the storm water on our campus and all of our sites, which is revolutionary for the city,” said Templeton. “The plaza outside the Wellness Center will actually be permeable pavers. The water just seeps into the earth. It doesn’t go into the storm system.”

Templeton said he anticipates the Student Health and Wellness Center will be completed by August 2017, and will be fully operational in time for the Fall 2017 semester.

Amanda Lien can be reached at

Julie Christie contributed reporting.

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