Preliminary master plan calls for new science buildings, increased green space

An early Visualize Temple proposal details a new central quad and renovations throughout Main Campus.

The master plan includes plans for a central quad that will increase green space on Main Campus.

In an early draft released to faculty on May 7, the university detailed its master plan for the future of Main Campus which includes a central quad roughly three-quarters the size of Rittenhouse Square, two new science buildings and numerous renovations.

Although still tentative, the entire plan would take 10-15 years to complete, said Senior Vice President for Construction, Facilities and Operations Jim Creedon. In the first five years, the plan would focus on improving research capabilities on Main Campus, Creedon said.

Despite speculation, no on-campus football stadium was included in the preliminary review.

This draft comes as part of the university’s Visualize Temple campaign to draw ideas for improvement from students, alumni, faculty and staff. As of May 14, more than 10,000 people had visited the online forum, according to the draft.

No start date or price tag was provided as the plans are still being completely explored. Included in the draft, an Interdisciplinary Science Building would replace the parking lot east of the Tyler School of Art between 12th and North Marvine streets. The ISB could possibly provide space to move all personnel out of the aging Beury Hall and Biology-Life Sciences Building, clearing the way for a quad, Creedon said.

“What we wanted to do was find a way to create a campus center,” Creedon said. “So what this draft is showing is that if you would make that move…you’re able to create a center hub and life of campus.”

The proposed quad would extend the green space near the Bell Tower north to Norris Street. As The Temple News first reported in December, a new $190 million library will replace Barton Hall by 2018 and the Paley Library building “will be repurposed.” Construction of the 200,000 to 300,000-square-foot library is set to begin in Summer 2015.

The $137 million Science and Education Research Center SERC on the corner of 12th Street and Polett Walk, a project started as part of the university’s 20/20 plan, is set to be finished in Fall 2014.

Additionally, the draft envisions renovations to Ritter Hall and extensions of both the SERC and Weiss Hall. The latter extension could possibly house the College of Health Professions and Social Work, Creedon said.

Renovations are considered in the draft for on-campus residence halls like White, Johnson, Hardwick, Peabody halls and Temple Towers.

Creedon warned that these plans are tentative and may change as the contracted planning team, Smith Group JJR, is “going to spend the summer putting it all together and writing the whole thing up.”

“There’s a lot that has to happen to get to that point,” Creedon said. “In the fall we’ll try to come back and solidify everything.”

Creedon said ideas are also being discussed for Temple’s domestic branch campuses.

“There’s a lot more to the plan then just, ‘Here’s where new buildings are going to go,’” Creedon said. “In the vision, just about every area [of the university] is touched in some way.”

Marcus McCarthy can be reached at or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.

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