Temple prepares for phase three of Ritter renovations

The university’s project delivery group has expedited its material ordering process to account for global supply chain issues.

Installation of double-pane windows aimed at making Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex more energy efficient will be complete in the summer of 2022. | NOEL CHACKO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University’s Project Delivery Group is in phase three of its $20.6 million renovation project for Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex, which includes replacing the windows in Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex to be more energy efficient. It’s expected to be completed by this summer.

The overall project aims to consolidate spaces for the College of Education and Human Development and involves adding a canopy to Ritter Hall’s south entrance and updating the landscape and hardscape west of the building.

Temple ordered the new window panes at the beginning of March after arranging to receive shop drawings – which are used to confirm the correct items are being installed – from their contractor earlier than usual, said Julia Mullin, associate director of construction. 

“We started the project sooner than we typically would have had it so that we can do all the pre-ordering that we need to do to get the material in place in time,” said Martin Droz, interim associate vice president for the Project Delivery Group.

The COVID-19 pandemic created multiple supply chain issues for construction materials, like slow shipping times and increased prices, The New York Times reported.

Materials for the windows are not expected to arrive until June. The Project Delivery group previously experienced shipping delays while waiting for the arrival of doors for the second phase of construction, but were not installed until the week of Feb. 28, Mullin said. 

They are installing double-pane windows in Ritter Hall and Ritter Annex, which prevent outdoor temperatures from seeping into the building. The building currently has only single-pane windows, so replacing them will allow Temple to save energy on heating and cooling, Droz said.

Double-pane windows can reduce energy usage up to 24 percent in cold weather and up to 18 percent in hot weather, according to Home Advisor.

Reducing the amount of outside air that is heated and cooled in campus buildings is a focal point of Temple’s energy conservation efforts, detailed in the university’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, according to the Campus Operations’ website.

The first phase of the renovations was completed in June 2021, while the second phase was completed in December 2021. The phases consisted of renovating office spaces and the first and second floors, the lobby and the entrances of Ritter Annex and the second floor of Ritter Hall. 

Some students who have classes at Ritter expressed frustration with ongoing renovations. 

Payton Carey, a sophomore early childhood education major who spends the majority of her time on campus at Ritter Hall, described the construction as inconvenient and irritating.

“It’s not even just the construction that’s loud, either,” Carey said. It’s also the construction workers that aren’t really taking into consideration that students are trying to work while they are carrying out full conversations.”

A construction worker needed to move a piece of ceiling off of a table so Carey could sit in a common area, she said.

Mila Ferraro, a sophomore public health major, is relieved the construction on Liacouras Walk South just outside Ritter has seemingly wrapped up. 

“For the whole fall semester and beginning of spring, we had to walk around the sidewalk and in the street to get to Ritter and almost get hit by buses, but now on the inside it’s mostly just on the first floor,” Ferraro said. “I have my class on the fifth floor, so it doesn’t really bother me.”

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