New library to replace Barton Hall

After a meeting with the Board of Trustees earlier this week, Temple announced today, Nov. 22 that the site of the new library will take over the space currently occupied by Barton Hall along 13th Street between Norris Street and Polett Walk.

The 200,000 to 300,000-square-foot building is estimated to be completed in 2018, with a budget of $190 million. The library is being designed by Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta along with Philadelphia-based Stantec.

In a statement released Friday, Dean of University Libraries Joseph Lucia, who was appointed in July, called the new library “a catalyst for learning and intellectual engagement across the campus community.”

“The big fulcrum of change is a shift in the emphasis from the library as a repository of books to the library as a place for sharing of ideas and new knowledge,” Lucia said.

The library was originally planned to be built on the west side of North Broad Street in the area of the Pavilion under the outdated Temple 20/20 plan. However, President Theobald announced plans earlier this year to move the library east of Broad Street to create a separation of academics and athletics.

Jim Creedon, senior vice president for construction, facilities and operations said the library will be the center of the university’s new master plan under the Visualize Temple Initiative. Part of that initiative, Creedon said, will include the building of a university quad around the center of campus.

The demolition of Barton Hall was originally discussed under the 20/20 initiative – which included the construction of the Science Education Research Center – to make way  for green space.

Under the new plan, the demolition of Barton Hall is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015 at the earliest, after all class space is transferred to the SERC and Wachman Hall.

The completed master plan is expected to be released by the university next spring.

John Moritz can be reached at john.moritz@temple.edu or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU. 

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