Leading up to the first day of classes yesterday, the construction team on Main Campus had been “putting campus back together again,” said Dozie Ibeh, associate vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group.
One construction procedure that will affect students is the transfer of Student Financial Services to 1700 N. Broad St. SFS used to be in the basement of Carnell and Conwell halls. The move is temporary, Ibeh said, but will last for the 2016-2017 academic year.
As library construction continues, nearly half of the north side of Liacouras Walk is blocked off by fences, making a narrower walkway for students. By February 2017, the library’s basement concrete will be poured, according to Brandon Lausch, a university spokesman. Construction is expected to finish on the library in Fall 2018.
The new sports complex at Broad and Master streets was completed this summer and has been opened for use by student-athletes. Ibeh said the community engagement office will create public hours for the community to access the fields when teams are not playing games or practicing.
As construction continues across Main Campus, Ibeh said it is the “policy” to create all-gender bathrooms in each building — all-gender bathrooms are currently being built in Annenberg Hall — and the university will build more of those bathrooms during the next few years.
“Every place where we engage, our intent is to add all-gender bathrooms,” Ibeh said. “Nobody is happier than I am that everything is done for students to come back. At the end of the day, the students are our audience.”
The Verdant Temple landscape plan continued this summer as Polett Walk was redone from the gates on Broad Street to Liacouras Walk. The walkway was widened and LED-lighting and new trash bins were installed, as well as permeable pavement to soak up more rainwater and reduce Temple’s impact on the city’s drainage systems.
The first phase of Temple Towers’ bathroom renovations was completed before residents moved into the hall. The second phase will be completed next summer.
Gladfelter and Anderson halls have also been partly renovated: the lobbies in each building have been redone and interior renovations were made on the fifth, ninth and 10th floors of Gladfelter Hall. The mezzanine that connects the two halls is expected to become more “accessible and inviting,” Lausch said, through Verdant Temple and Visualize Temple.
“Our focus as a department is the student experience and changing the physical environment of Temple University,” Ibeh said. “If you know what some of these places used to look like before, look at the after of what it is now.”
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.