Trustees approve funding for projects

Demolition of the old medical school building highlighted funding approvals.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees approved three construction projects during the public session of its meeting last Thursday, Nov. 8.

The most expensive of the projects was the demolition of the old medical school building at Broad and Ontario streets. Trustees approved $7.45 million that will be used to design and make renovations to relocate the 25 researchers who are still in the building, as well as the demolition of the building.

The 25 researchers who are in the building will be moved to the medical research building just north of the old medical school building on Broad Street after renovations are made to accommodate them. Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Wagner said renovations in the Medical Research Building should be complete by March 2013.

After the current occupants are out, officials said they can start to dismantle the building.

“In April of next year, we’ll start the decommissioning of the old medical school,” Wagner said. “We’ve got some equipment we’ve got to take out of there, there’s chemicals and things that have to be carefully disposed of so that’s part of the decommissioning.”

From July to September 2013, Wagner said asbestos will be removed from the building before demolition begins sometime next fall. The demolition would occur from October 2013 through May 2014, Wagner estimates.

The trustees also approved $1.7 million in spending for the design and construction of office space for the new Temple Clinical Research Institute and Center for Bioethics, Urban and Health Policy. The project includes renovations of 8,000 square feet of vacant space on the second floor of Kresge Science Hall.

The project will take approximately eight months to complete and will start soon, Wagner said.

Only one project was approved that would impact Main Campus — a $400,000 project to renovate the stairs of Alter Hall.

“What they want to do is improve the main entrance vestibule and the stairs,” Wagner said. “It’s intended to create a less congested entrance and exit situation for persons that are leaving and arriving at the building.”

The project will create a new entry area large enough to allow safe movement in and out of the building, Wagner said. The stairs will be rebuilt, extended from the building an additional 5 feet, an intermediate landing will be added and there will be an improved rise- to-tread ratio to make the stairs feel less steep.

“The bottom line is it’s just going to provide much easier access to the building,” Wagner said.

During the renovations, Alter Hall will be accessible through Speakman Hall, Wagner said.

The project hasn’t been designed yet, officials said. A timetable for the project is unclear.

The Executive Committee also approved $4 million for the purchase of 142 dental units and a room refurbishment at Kornberg School of Denistry.

Sean Carlin can be reached at or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84. 

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