Temple requested $100 million from the Pennsylvania Committee on Appropriations to help construct the signature building of the 20/20 plan: the library. The request is a part of the House Bill No. 2291.
Though the library – which is slated to include aspects of a community center – would be erected during the final stages of the 20/20 plan, the request has little concrete promise.
“Everyone’s trying to get a project in, but just being in the request doesn’t mean you’re going to get it,” Senior Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs Ken Lawrence said.“We have the library funding in the request, along with a couple of projects, but it hasn’t been authorized or even released yet.”
Lawrence said the governor combs through the bill to choose projects, and a bill like HB 2291 is only proposed every “couple years.”
“The idea of building a new library as part of the 20/20 plan is a really important aspect of the plan,” Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Wagner said. “If the state does not participate in that project, we’ll have to reevaluate the viability of moving forward with it. It’s uncertain at this point what would be the outcome.”
Although the library is under the Philadelphia County section of the bill, along with other city development requests, there is also an entry for Temple under the Department of Education portion of the bill.
In it, there is a $30 million request to “renovate an existing building with dedicated learning space, faculty and administration of the Honors Program,” and a $20 million project allocation for the renovation necessary for the medical school at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa.
Since Temple became a state-related university in 1965, the commonwealth helped it build some of its structures and therefore, helps Temple maintain the buildings through the Public Improvements Program. The university received a flat rate of $20 million per year for a long time, Lawrence said, but this year it doubled to $40 million. It is separate from state appropriation funds.