Temple University’s High-Tech Library Gets High Marks at Civic Design Review

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University’s flashy new library went before the Civic Design Review Committee on Tuesday, and it might be an understatement to say that the information-only presentation went well. PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey was on hand as CDR board member Cecil Baker proclaimed his love for the design of the project telling Temple’s architect, Margaret Carney: “I see your project and I get filled with hope.”

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Temple University Plans to Start Demolition at Barton Hall by End of the Week

Temple University Libray | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Temple University Library | Via Civic Design Review, Temple University, Snohetta, Stantec

Here’s a brief update on the status of Temple University’s upcoming $190 million library project. Patricia Madej of The Temple News talked with Dozie Ibeh, assistant vice president of the university’s Project Delivery Group, and it looks like the end of Barton Hall on Liacouras Walk is near.  “Demolition [of Barton Hall], which will cost about $2.8 million, is expected by the end of the week, with anticipated completion by the end of the year.”

The site will eventually house an impressive library designed by Snøhetta and Stantec. Temple University has been very busy this year, and crews have been removing hazardous material from the building over the summer. The project is scheduled to head before Civic Design Review on September 1 for an information-only presentation.

H/T: Main Campus undergoing a major facelift [The Temple News]

Three Mega-Projects Slated for Civic Design Review in September

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

1300 Fairmount | Via Civic Design Review, RAL Development Services, Cope Linder Architects

Let’s delve a little deeper into some major projects facing the increasingly colorful Civic Design Review process, shall we? The meeting starts at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1 in Room 18-029 at 1515 Arch Street. Three big-time projects go under the microscope, including a repeat visit for one project in Pennsport.

In their 1300 Fairmount proposal, RAL Development looks to bring a massive mixed-use apartment complex, possibly anchored by a grocery store, to the vast vacant lot that wraps the Divine Lorraine. Maryland-based Concordia Group plans to raze the former (and newer part of) Mount Sinai Hospital, once dubbed the Divine Lorraine of South Philadelphia. Finally, Temple University looks to knock down an aging building to make room for a decidedly Scandinavian project designed by starchitects Snøhetta, a Norwegian firm with an eye for the spectacular, and the local firm Stantec.

Alright, let’s get right to it.

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Should Temple Have Investigated Bill Cosby in 2005?

Comedian Bill Cosby at Temple University's commencement Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Philadelphia.

Comedian Bill Cosby at Temple University’s commencement Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Philadelphia.

Temple University is in a strange place these days.

Though the sexual-assault accusations that have sullied the once-exalted name of Bill Cosby span decades — not to mention the country — the university on North Broad Street has found itself the uncomfortable ground zero of the scandal. Read more »

Restoration Commencing on 100-Year-Old Temple Boathouse

If you’ve made it from Boathouse Row to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, it’s likely you’ve caught sight of the East Park Canoe House. (If not, here it is on Google Street View.) Deemed unfit by L&I in 2008, the historic, but dilapidated building appeared headed for demolition and (gasp!) replacement with a new building.

As fate would have it, however, its luck took a turn last year when the city announced it had partnered with the Lenfest Foundation to restore the Temple Boathouse, its informal name given the structure’s previous use by the university’s rowing teams, for $5.5 million.  Now, Owl Sports reports a ceremonial groundbreaking took place last Thursday.

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Penn Dropping Essay Portion of SAT Test

Editor’s note: The original headline has been changed to reflect that Penn won’t require the essay portion of the SAT Writing test.

Remember way back in — oh, has it been 10 years already? — 2005, when the College Board created an uproar by adding a new essay-writing component to its longstanding Verbal and Math SAT tests? A spokeswoman for the Board at the time said the move was made in response to demand from colleges and businesses, who hoped that “writing will become more of a priority across the United States.”

Now the University of Pennsylvania is creating its own little uproar by announcing that as of next year, it will no longer require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of either the SAT or the ACT. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the decision was one that had been “carefully considered”: Read more »

PA Bosses Are Stealing Up to $32 Million a Week From Their Workers

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Pennsylvania bosses stiff their workers to the tune $19 million to $32 million each week, a new report from Temple University’s Sheller Center for Social Justice concludes.

The phenomenon is called wage theft, and it manifests itself in a bunch of different ways. Unpaid overtime. Unreimbursed expenses. Stolen tips. And more.

Up until now, evidence of wage theft has been mostly anecdotal. But according to the Sheller Center report, wage theft is pervasive, particularly in the restaurant and home health care industries. The study concludes that:

  • About 130,000 Philadelphia workers (almost 11% of the Philadelphia workforce) experience wage theft in any given work week.
  • 40 percent of workers surveyed in Philly’s restaurant industry reported working off-the-clock without pay.
  • 90.4 percent of home health care workers suffer from off-the-clock pay violations.

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Go Green: Temple Offers Sneak Peek at “Verdant” Master Plan

Image by LRSLA studio Inc. via Temple News

Image by LRSLA studio Inc. via Temple News

Will Temple University ever build that much-whispered about football stadium everyone thinks they’re planning? Speculate all you want, it honestly doesn’t seem like the Owls are even thinking about that at this point. Instead, all signs point to the school buckling down on prepping for the upcoming green redesign of its main campus.

Visualize Temple, TU’s Campus Master Plan (.PDF), which came to our attention last December, will involve the demolition of Barton Hall, Beury Hall, and the Biology-Life Sciences building. Taking their respective places would be a new 210,000-square-foot library designed by Norwegian architect Snøhetta and Philadelphia-based Stantec, where Barton now stands, and a massive central green space – informally referred to as “the quad” –, where Beury Beach, its namesake hall and the Bio-Life building are currently located.

Other projects would also be phased in within the next five or so years, according to an October article from Temple News, including an interdisciplinary science building at 12th and Norris. This latter construction would be the only other structure slightly stepping out of Temple’s footprint, which university officials stress they have no plans to expand.

Complementing Visualize Temple is Verdant Temple, the university’s landscape master plan, which launched its pilot project at Temple’s Liacouras Walk and Wachman Plaza a little over a week ago. According to Temple News’ Brandon Lausch, work at the site will pave the way for “more social space” and better accessibility to Wachman Hall with the rest of campus.

It also serves as preview of what’s to come.

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Headlines: More Football Stadium Speculation as Temple Demos Buildings

shutterstock_temple-flag-940x540It seems like every time Temple looks to demolish any university-owned structures (of any size), the old football stadium question starts to pop up. Remember all the hubbub over William Penn High School? The latest round of speculation is actually quite intriguing.

Naked Philly recently spotted that the Triangle Apartments near Broad and Norris, long used as graduate student housing, have been razed. Given their proximity to the recreation facilities between Broad and 16th Street, it’s possible that Temple would have enough room to finally build that 30,000-seat (or so) stadium facility for their football program, which may or may not just be “big, bad idea” anyway.

Again, this is pure speculation, as Temple hasn’t announced their plans for the site. It was marked as “recommended for removal” under their recent master plan, Visualize Temple. So, will the Temple football stadium happen at this (or any) campus location? We’ll be sure to update you once more information becomes available.

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Temple Physics Chair Charged With Passing Tech to China

Xiaoxing Xi

Xiaoxing Xi

Xiaoxing Xi, the physics department chair at Temple University, has been charged by federal prosecutors with passing semiconductor technology back to his native China.

The indictment (see the full document below) alleges Xi — a naturalized U.S. citizen — went to work for a U.S. company in 2002 and 2003, obtaining access to a device that speeds the growth of superconductor film. He later used a U.S. Defense Department research grant to try to purchase the device. The unidentified company licensed the device to him after he signed a document promising not to reverse engineer, reproduce, or sell copies of that device to any third parties.

Instead, according to the indictment: Read more »

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