The Tyler School of Art has plans to move to Temple’s main campus by the fall of 2006, but many students do not share the optimism and excitement of administration officials.
Tyler Dean Hester Stinnett says the plan to move to the main campus has been discussed for many years and comes from a strong desire to be active and visible in the University.
Stinnett says Tyler will move into a newly constructed building at 12th and Norris streets and will cost an estimated $75 million, with about 75 percent coming from the state.
“We’ve been at the Elkins Park campus for about 60 years and we want students to have access to the resources of the main campus while adding to its vitality,” Stinnett said.
Despite the chance to be more connected to the rest of the University, some students would rather not leave their suburban setting.
“We love the atmosphere here,” freshman Athena Christakis said. “It’s nice to be separate but attached, like we are our own little school.”
Many share this sentiment. Most students prefer the beauty of the scenery to be found at their current location.
Freshman Brian Nowakowski does not want to lose the nature aspect of the Elkins Park campus, while sophomore Ariana Abud regrets that they won’t have any trees or flowers to paint.
“I think that as a whole all the students are pretty disappointed,” freshman Matt Menaquale said. “This is such a beautiful place for artists.” Not every student agrees though, and some look forward to their future at the main campus.
“One student told me that they were inspired by all the arts, and it is difficult to enjoy what the main campus can offer,” Stinnett said.
Sophomore and Philadelphia native Gary Carr agrees the change will be better in some ways, and it will be good to be more included as a part of the University.
Stinnett says she understands student concerns, but feels they will be much more excited once they see the new facility and the studios and technology it will provide for them.
But housing issues are also causing concern to students.
Finding a place to live is already a problem for the large student body on the main campus.
Some Tyler students are worried they won’t have anywhere to stay.
“We’re probably going to get shafted on housing,” Menequale said. “I don’t think the school is as concerned as they should be.”
Menequale said the present dorms are dilapidated and because of the move, the school won’t put money into fixing them.
“I understand that President [David] Adamany is aware of the real demand for housing and I believe projects are online to address these issues,” Stinnett said.
She is confident these problems will be resolved in time to accommodate Tyler students. She is also positive the new location will draw even more incoming freshmen.
“A new building and the vast resources at their doorstep will be a great attraction,” she said. “They know they will be able to fully participate.”
The majority of students still feel a sense of disappointment.
Some admit they will probably transfer to avoid being relocated to the main campus, while others feel that they’ll stay, but if they had known that they would move, they might never have come in the first place.
Already students are not looking forward to their new home a few years from now, though with their new facility still not built, student sentiment could still change.
Torin Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org