Temple’s international campuses to undergo construction

Temple University Japan will move to a new campus and Temple Rome’s library will be renovated

Construction is underway at the new Temple University Japan campus in the Setagaya-ku area of Tokyo. | SAVON CRISP / THE TEMPLE NEWS

UPDATED at 1:45 p.m. on Jan. 25

Temple University Japan will move to a new campus in the Setagaya-ku area of Tokyo and the university will design Temple Rome’s library renovation in Fall 2019.

TUJ’s administrators have been trying to move the campus for nearly 15 years to give the university more of a “campus feel” and accommodate its growing undergraduate population, said Paul Raudkepp, TUJ’s chief operating officer. TUJ’s new, six-floor building will be at Showa Women’s University.

“Our dream has always been to have a more campus-like environment for our students,” Raudkepp said. “TUJ’s motivation is obviously our desire to improve and enlarge our facilities, as well as to increase the already diverse nature of our educational environment.”

The new campus will include a student gym, athletic fields, a pool, more space for students, and new Japanese-language course offerings. Setagaya-ku has more affordable rent prices for students compared to TUJ’s current location in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Raudkepp added.

“We need to be in Central Tokyo for a number of reasons and want not only a campus building but also the real campus environment with sports facilities and all,” he said. “It is by far the best option.”

Raudkepp said collaborating with SWU also allows students to get a double degree with SWU and Temple.

“We already play an important role in the Japanese higher education system, but having this kind of relationship with SWU will make TUJ stronger culturally and academically,” he said. “It will make us an even more important player in Japanese higher education.”

Grace Bellamy, a junior communications studies major at TUJ said she is excited to be a part of a “real college atmosphere.”

“The cultural mix will be bigger with a larger facility,” she said. “There will be plenty of opportunities to collaborate with better logistics and a wider pool of people to engage with.”

Jun Alexander, a sophomore Japanese major said she is “already excited” for the new campus.

“I’m pretty excited, but mildly concerned about how the new changes will affect student interactions,” she said, adding that she thinks the new location could change how students treat each other.

At the same time and in Temple’s Rome campus, the university is beginning to design the renovation of its library housed in the Villa Caproni building, which is about 100 years old, Temple Rome Dean Hilary Link wrote in an email.

The Board of Trustees approved a $3.8 million renovation to the library in March 2018, The Temple News reported. The campus’ library, which occupies a portion of the Villa Caproni building, will have a student lounge and breakout rooms.

The funds dedicated to Temple Rome facilities updates includes “massive renovations of our art spaces, computer lab, student study area and gathering lounge, as well as adding new art spaces,” Link wrote.

“A construction timeline will be developed in the next few months,” wrote Dozie Ibeh, the associate vice president of the university’s project delivery group, in a statement to The Temple News.

“The design team has been engaged,” Ibeh wrote. “Several enabling projects are currently under way [sic] in preparation of the library renovation.”

The university’s lease in the Villa Caproni building ends in 2035.

Savon Crisp contributed reporting.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the age of the Villa Caproni building. The building is about 100 years old. It was also corrected on Jan. 22 to state Jun Alexander is a female student.

UPDATE: This article was updated to include more information about the Temple Rome renovations and the Villa Caproni building.

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