Englert says proposed stadium is ‘attractive,’ calls for feedback

A rendering of Temple's proposed on-campus stadium and multi-purpose facility. | VIA TEMPLE UNIVERSITY

President Richard Englert is asking for community and student feedback about the proposed on-campus stadium before the university submits its proposal to the City Planning Commission in the coming months, according to an email sent to the Temple community on Tuesday.

Englert does not list any specific dates for potential community and student forums about the stadium or how the university will conduct these “discussions,” but he is “open to even more input to further shape his views” on the stadium.  

Englert also listed nine reasons why he finds the multipurpose football stadium “attractive.”

Some of the reasons include:

  • The “opportunity to work with community members to improve our relationships with North Philadelphia.”
    • CONTEXT: University administration has not held an official open forum with community residents to answer their questions about the stadium, but has held “unrelated” community and invite-only meetings with community leaders, and one closed session between the Stadium Stompers, Englert and state Rep. Curtis Thomas.
    • CONTEXT: Some community residents and leaders said they were not notified that the university would submit plans for the facility to be built.
  • To “show off our ever-improving campus environment” to the public and other universities.
  • Making financial sense, so the university can “control costs and reap greater rewards”
  • Supporting student athletes who have a “sterling academic record” and “engage in wonderful volunteer work” in North Philadelphia.
    • CONTEXT: Student athletes participate in various community volunteer work like Temple Police’s annual Avenue of Treats — a Halloween event that allows children to safely trick-or-treat on Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
  • To boost “economic benefits for our neighbors” by creating construction and retail job opportunities.  
    • CONTEXT: In May, a university spokesperson told The Temple News that it employs 760 community residents from the immediate area surrounding Temple. Allied Universal Security Services and Temple’s then-food service provider Sodexo employ 40 percent of their workforce from ZIP codes surrounding Temple. The university has not specifically promised to employ community residents at the proposed stadium.
  • “A long-term benefit” to the university and surrounding community, similar to the Liacouras Center, which “[spurred] economic development” in North Philadelphia.
    • CONTEXT: The Liacouras Center led to contentious debates between North Philadelphia and Temple, creating conflicts between then-City Council President John Street, who now teaches at the university, and Temple. At the time of the Liacouras Center’s construction, Street demanded Temple pay $5 million to rehabilitate neighborhood housing and that the money be given to an independent community-controlled development group. The university then pledged $12 million to “revitalize” the area near Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
  • “It would truly be a ‘multipurpose facility’” that will include a stadium, classroom space, research and event space, and adjacent retail and mixed-use facilities.
    • CONTEXT: Although this is true, the vast expanse of the project is for a football stadium. A concussion research facility, several football-related rooms and two academic classrooms are included in the project overview released by Temple on Jan. 18. No other information about the number of classrooms or retail spaces has been released.

Students are encouraged to share their feedback with Englert by emailing officeofthepresident@temple.edu.

 

Kelly Brennan
can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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