Opening of Morgan Hall heralds new era in residential living at Temple
When members of the class of 2017 move in to Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Residential and Dining Complex next week, they’ll be helping to usher in a new era for living and learning at Temple University.
The opening of the block-long facility at Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue represents the future of residential living at a university that little more than a decade ago was known primarily as a commuter school. Designed with an emphasis on shared spaces, technological innovations and connections to the city, the Morgan complex puts that notion permanently to rest.
“For so long I think people would say that Temple didn’t have the capabilities to do this,” said Michael Scales, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “This shows that we value our students for who they are and what they mean to this institution. I think this sets the bar extremely high.”
The complex includes two residential buildings: a 27-floor tower known as Morgan Hall North that will house upperclassmen, and a ten-story, L-shaped mid-rise building, Morgan Hall South, that will house first-year and sophomore students. A third building overlooking Broad Street is host to a multitude of dining options, including a primary dining center, a café, Starbucks coffee shop, Tony Luke’s cheesesteaks, Auntie Anne’s pretzels and several others. A flagship restaurant, yet to be secured, is planned for the building’s street level.
At the center of the complex is a 30,000 square-foot outdoor terrace that will serve as a gathering point for students and community members alike. With outdoor furniture, landscaped gardens and wireless Internet access, the court provides an ideal space for small group meetings or larger events. With a wide staircase open to Broad Street, the space is designed to connect the facility with its North Philadelphia community.
Students will live in a combination of single rooms and four and five-bed apartment-suites, arranged in a series of neighborhoods supported by two-story glass-enclosed lounges. Suites are outfitted with a flat-screen television, kitchen unit, sofa and dining table. Most feature stunning views of the city.
Programmed largely based on input from Temple students, the complex’s many features add up to more than just a highly desirable living space, said Scales.
“What’s important is what happens in the environment and how it impacts the academic experience and the retention and the persistence of students, he said. “These buildings say a lot about our commitment to student life and the value of the on-campus experience.”
Morgan Hall is the latest indicator of Temple's increasingly residential nature — approximately 14,000 students now live on or near Temple’s campus. Built in response to rising student demand for on-campus living options, the new residential buildings accommodate 1,275 students.
The complex is named in honor of Temple Board of Trustees member and alumnus Mitchell L. Morgan and his wife, Hilarie, for their lifetime of support of the university, including a $5 million commitment that helped make the residential complex a reality.
With the many opportunities for collaboration and socialization in the space, Scales jokes that his staff could face a new hurdle as students settle into their dynamic new surroundings.
“One of our challenges may be getting them to leave the complex,” he said.