A current construction project plans to make intercollegiate games more easily accessible to the Temple community. As part of the Visualize Temple Masterplan, two new athletic fields will take the place of the William Penn High School.
Demolition of the former high school building began in early October. Phase 1 will finish on February 1, 2016, and the entire project will end by August 1, 2016.
“We have eight months to pull down two buildings and do the full fields and demo,” said Dozie Ibeh, Assistant Vice President of Temple’s Project Delivery Group. “It’s a pretty aggressive schedule. We’re gonna make it. But that’s our biggest challenge on this job.”
Temple will repurpose the site for intercollegiate soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and track events. In addition to the two fields, the area will house a smaller locker room, and bleachers for spectators to enjoy the games. The new on-campus facility is expected to draw larger crowds. Fans of men and women’s soccer will no longer have to travel out to Ambler’s campus to catch a game.
“For the first time ever, Temple Men’s and woman’s soccer will be on campus,” explained Larry Dougherty, Senior Associate of Communications for Temple Athletics. “So that’s just a huge impact for those two programs and for our student body. They’ll be able to see those two sports, which are competing at a high level on campus.”
Athletic officials anticipate the soccer teams will begin playing their first matches there by fall 2016.
The university originally intended to maintain the building’s exterior to honor the structure’s legacy. However, those plans fell through after workers discovered the interior contained too much deterioration to recover.
“When the university was looking to purchase the property, we had investigated whether we can keep any of the bones of the building. The spaces were not really laid out in a functional manner in which we could come in and gut it and reuse. So the current plan is to demolish all of the building.” said Ibeh.
For the next several months construction will take place between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM on week days, and 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM on weekends.