Above Dozie Ibeh’s desk in the Facilities Management Building, there is a white binder with bold black letters: “Football Stadium.”
Ibeh, associate vice president of Temple’s Project Delivery Group, never opened that binder during an interview with The Temple News to discuss the stage of the ongoing feasibility study for the proposed football stadium.
The study is expected to be finished within a few months, once a traffic study is completed. Ibeh said the traffic study began before students left campus in the spring and is picking up again now.
This portion of the study is what caused the Board of Trustees to approve $250,000 more to the feasibility study’s allocation, making the grand total of the study $1.25 million.
This summer, the Project Delivery Group and Moody Nolan, the Ohio-based architecture firm leading the study, completed a geotechnical test by digging 40-50 feet into the ground to see if the ground is contaminated or how low the bowl of a stadium could be in the proposed site, Geasey Field.
“We’re looking at other stadiums in urban contexts, other stadiums surrounded by similar residential characteristics of Temple University and what they have done just to keep it low and keep [noise] down,” Ibeh said.
Ibeh said Moody Nolan and Temple’s Project Delivery Group have continued to meet with the community and listened to their concerns, which they have been attempting to answer in their design.
Some of the design of the stadium will be a direct response to community feedback, Ibeh said.
“One of the challenges people were hearing is that we’re going to put a giant stadium out of context in North Philadelphia,” Ibeh said. “The response to that was the geotechnical report where we tested to see how low can the building go so it’s more contextual, rather than comparing it to Lincoln Financial Field.”
Ibeh added the stadium’s design will not go above the height of the rowhomes on Norris Street and will reflect “the character of the neighborhood.”
Some other concerns from the community included noise and increased party culture if a stadium were built in a residential area. Ibeh said officials will try to include a design that will funnel noise away from the community and toward Main Campus and create a “plaza” for students and families to tailgate and celebrate on campus before football games. All entrances to the stadium would be on Temple’s campus-side, as opposed to some opening toward the community, Ibeh added.
“It’s been really instructive hearing people’s concerns because it gives us as a design team things to respond to,” Ibeh said.
Calls to Curtis Moody, the CEO of Moody Nolan, were deferred to Temple’s COO office.
Ibeh said he and Moody Nolan’s teams are still in the “information gathering stage” and there is no set date to present the study to the Board of Trustees.
Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @gill_mcGoldrick.