Posted Mar 6, 2018
Speaking at a town hall geared toward North Central Philadelphia residents Tuesday night, President Richard M. Englert assured them he was listening to their concerns about a multipurpose facility proposed for Temple land on North Broad Street.
In his prepared remarks, Englert said he has come to recognize a stronger bond needs to be built between Temple and its neighbors.
"As we have had conversations with numerous people, I have come to realize this project offers all of us an opportunity," Englert told those present in Mitten Hall. "The multipurpose facility—if done right—can have benefits to both the community and the university. Our goal is to work with residents to understand how we can ensure there is value to all."
The president outlined the university’s proposals for a multipurpose facility that would include a football stadium, along with classroom and research spaces and a retail complex along North Broad Street. The stadium, with 30,000 to 35,000 seats, will be sunk below road surface to keep its profile low, especially when compared with the rowhomes on the Norris Street side.
In his remarks, Englert refuted some rumors that have been circulating. For example:
● No one will lose their property or homes if the project moves forward. The facility will be located on Temple land.
● However, 15th Street will be closed at Norris for half a block but open on the Montgomery side for vehicle traffic into the facility.
● The stadium will host no more than seven college football games a year. There are no plans for any concerts or other major events.
● However, it could be a venue for an annual public league championship football game or play host to other appropriate community activities, such as neighborhood youth camps.
Englert said it was his hope that the conversations that have taken place and that will take place in the future will lead to a stronger and more beneficial relationship between the university and its neighbors.
"We need to do a better job of listening to our neighbors and acknowledging their unique experiences," he said. "Going forward we need to have on-going, regularly-scheduled meetings with community members, where there can be real dialogue.
"We also need to make sure that we don’t make promises we can’t keep. Improved relations between the university and our neighbors must be built on trust," Englert added.
Englert's prepared remarks ended with a commitment to the neighbors: "My pledge to you is that I will use my presidency to ensure that we put practices into place that will continue for generations to come and that we see this as a turning point for both North Central Philadelphia and for Temple."