Since Temple University began its not-so-rapid development in early 2001, students have tolerated the inconvenience of large-scale construction on Liacouras Walk, as well as the repeated postponement of store openings and changes to which shops would be built.
But the delay-plagued renovations may finally be nearing completion.
The projected completion of a bar and grill across from 7-Eleven by the end of the November will fill the last hole in the strip of retailers.
And many students think that it’s about time.
“When we arrived here [in 2001] we were told everything would be done by that fall… but of course, nearly nothing was,” said sophomore Angie Devers.
“[Liacouras Walk] still doesn’t seem to have been planned out very well, with The Nail Shop and The Chop Shop [on either side of] Master Wok.”
Junior Sherri Schwartz is not overly thrilled with what she called the “somewhat narrow selection” that the Walk offers as compared to the original plans.
“I remember hearing about a delay almost every other week for a while,” she said.
“It was crazy. What ever happened to the Pizza Hut that was supposed to go where [the bar and grill] is going?”
“Didn’t they just run out of money for the Pizza Hut?,” said sophomore Ian Miller. “That’s what we were told.”
The original plan, which was released to incoming students in August 2001, promised the opening of Philly Steaks and Gyros and Master Wok by Sept. 28, 2001, and the completion of a Pizza Hut by Oct. 15.
Master Wok opened at the end of September 2002, but neither the Philly Steaks and Gyros nor Pizza Hut has been included in the final plans.
Students said that the delays are no longer the issue as much as the disappointment when a much-anticipated addition to the walkway falls through.
“The selection of food is all right, but I think we just expected something other than more places to eat,” said freshman Justin Coile.
But some of the students most dissatisfied with the delays seem generally pleased with the improvements.
“It is a really beautiful area now, and having a 7-Eleven, dry cleaners and hair dresser in such a close proximity is really convenient,” said Schwartz, “especially for students who don’t get to go home too often or who aren’t familiar with the area.”
With the project nearly finished, Temple is looking toward new projects.
The addition of a movie theater and nightclub has been suggested for the next renovation of the Student Center, but the numerous changes during the creation of Liacouras Walk have left some wary as to what to expect next.
Holli Powitzky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org