Since the university announced its proposal of a potential on-campus football stadium, we have voiced concerns about the possibility of the university overlooking the importance of community input.
More than five months later, it appears Curtis Moody—President and CEO of Moody Nolan and the newly selected architect of the proposed stadium—and a separate university-commissioned task force are putting the community in the forefront of the planning.
Moody told The Temple News he and his team will visit the potential stadium site every two weeks to meet with residents in the surrounding area. Guadalupe Portillo, a community resident and university employee, said she and a few other residents have already met with Moody.
Director of the Sport Industry Research Center and Faculty Athletics Representative Jeremy Jordan will lead a university-commissioned task force to produce ideas on alternative uses for the stadium while not in use by the football team. The task force will include individuals in the university’s community relations department.
The community had almost no say about the decision to build the stadium. The exclusion has resulted in a tangible amount of pushback during Board of Trustees meetings and the creation of the “Stadium Stompers,” which meets every other Thursday at the Church of the Advocate to discuss opposition to the university’s plans.
If an estimated 35,000 students flood the borders of campus at least six times a year, cooperation in the form of answered questions, job creation and community resources must be provided.
The recent involvement of Moody is a good step, and while the crowds outside Board of Trustees meetings may have been smaller if these steps were taken earlier, it’s reassuring to see them taken at all.