A public Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today at Sullivan Hall, where talks concerning a proposed $126 million on-campus stadium could continue.
A university spokesman said the stadium is not on the agenda, but that trustees could still discuss details concerning it.
Another protest outside of Sullivan Hall is also planned, the “Stadium Stompers” announced at a meeting at the Church of the Advocate last Thursday. Representatives said trustees were invited to attend Thursday’s meeting, but none showed up.
Several trustees on the Board’s Athletics committee could not be reached for comment last week. Joseph W. “Chip” Marshall, III, a trustee since 1992, said the board is far from making a final decision.
“I’m satisfied with the process thus far,” he said. “I think we’re moving deliberately, and I think this is probably going to be looked at closer than maybe any building in our history, or at least when I’ve been on the board.”
During the last two meetings, protesters could be heard on the second floor of Sullivan Hall during public comment from 10 people at last month’s meeting.
Marshall said community input is vital in the eventual decision.
“I think any issue like this is going to have a lot of different opinions,” he said. “I think it’s healthy and good that we are going to hear all the opinions, and at some point, we’re going to have to balance everything out and make a decision.”
One of those opinions will be of City Council President Darrell Clarke of the 5th District, which includes Temple. President Theobald told The Temple News last month he meets regularly with Clarke about the stadium proposal.
“As he always says, ‘I’m not for this and not against it. Explain to me how all of this is going to work,’” Theobald said.
Jane Roh, Clarke’s spokeswoman, said in an email that Clarke has “made it clear” the concerns of the community must be addressed. She added the process is currently in the hands of the university and nearby neighborhoods.
“The residents and businesses who stand to be directly affected by a football stadium deserve a rigorous community engagement process from Temple University, and any final development proposal should reflect and address their most significant concerns,” she said. “Council President Clarke believes it is appropriate for the University to make its case to the community first before requesting any approvals from the City.”
Marshall added decisions like this do make being a trustee difficult, but it’s important to listen to all opinions with any decision of this magnitude.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily a sports facility that drives the controversy,” he said. “ I think that anything that happens in or around the campus of this magnitude, [like] a large building or changing programs … all this stuff is a tradeoff, it certainly makes an impact, and like most things that make an impact, it doesn’t affect everybody the same way.”
Steve Bohnel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Steve_Bohnel.
CORRECTION: A version of this article that appeared in print March 15 incorrectly stated trustees were expected to talk about a proposed on-campus stadium. A university spokesman told The Temple News that the stadium is not on the agenda, but could pop up in discussion.
Read online tomorrow afternoon for coverage of the meeting.