Temple’s Board of Trustees has approved funding for the initial design of the main campus stadium. The funding will be used to move forward with the development of the preliminary designs, along with studies of the best way to utilize the space, and determining the environmental impacts. The university released a statement including the board’s specifications and requirements as the project continues. They include some of the following:
- Temple will spend no more than $1 million to pursue initial designs and studies.
- The total budget is not to exceed $130 million.
- The university will collaborate with community members and government officials to solve issues such as trash, parking, and noise
- The overall financing plan for the project have a $50 million fundraising goal.
- Funds for the project will come from private donations and bonds, the latter supported by money that would otherwise be paid to rent Lincoln Financial Field. Student tuition will not be used.
This comes just after the Board of Trustees agreed to begin the stadium desgin on Monday.
After about 50 minutes of emotional public comment, the Temple University Board of Trustees voted tonight unanimously to begin the design process of a stadium on Main Campus.
Temple Police guarded each entry to Sullivan Hall, allowing only university officials, members of the press, and about a dozen residents into the meeting, on the condition that they would not be disruptive or bring in any signs.
Inside the meeting, there was an overwhelming sense of opposition among those who identified themselves as North Philadelphia residents.
“The university is consistent in excluding the community,” said Priscilla Wood, a Yorktown neighborhood resident, referring to the demolition of William Penn High School. “And our elected officials have made Temple’s concerns priority over our own.”
— Rob DiRienzo (@RobDiRienzo) February 8, 2016
Protesters’ chants, cheers, and jeers could be heard from inside the building throughout the course of the meeting. Of the 10 members of the public who spoke at the meeting, only one, Temple alum John Longacre, was in favor of the project.
“This is a Division I team,” Longacre said, “You can’t ask Matt Rhule to work miracles [in the Linc]. We need Division I infrastructure.”
Temple Student Government Pres. Ryan Rinaldi added that discussions he has had with students have been “overwhelmingly positive.”
Following Rinaldi’s remarks, two more members of the public spoke, despite several attempts of cloture by Board of Trustees Chairperson Patrick O’Connor.
Many public comments were centered on charges of institutionalized racism, with some who spoke connecting the cause to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Last week’s incident of a swastika and the n-word being drawn in snow on a car was mentioned by Erica Mine, who identified herself as a lifelong North Philadelphia resident..
“This is about pushing black people out and shuffling white people in,” said Mine.
O’Connor then motioned to move forward with the plans, which was unanimously carried.
As the board began to gather their things, one audience member asked, “That was it?”
Outside the meeting, about twenty people on both sides of the alleyway behind Sullivan Hall continued protest and heckled university officials leaving the building, including TSG Pres. Rinaldi.
“Who do you protect? Who do you serve?” the protesters chanted. Some shoved the officials and formed a line, not allowing them through.
Temple University Police Capt. Eileen Bradley said on the scene that there were no arrests or incidents.