When 1,275 lucky students move into Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Residence Hall this fall, Temple University will complete the transition from sleepy commuter college to a bustling urban campus.
Touted as a "southern gateway" to the school's main campus, the $216 million state-of-the-art residential facility on North Broad Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue boasts both high-rise and mid-rise towers, bi-level public dining facilities and a mini park nestled between the two buildings.
"People who went to college in the 60s and 70s will not recognize these dorms," said
Temple vice president of construction, facilities, and operations Jim Creedon.
He defended the $138,000 per bed cost, one of the highest in the nation. "A great residential environment helps build a strong academic environment," he said. "The university is creating an atmosphere where the students will feel comfortable staying on campus and going to the computer lab or library at night."
The dorms are named for university trustee Mitchell Morgan, founder of real estate development and management company Morgan Properties, and his wife Hilarie. Morgan, who never lived on campus when he attended Temple University in the 1970s, has been a longtime donor to the school and contributed $5 million for the dormitory construction alone.
"As a commuter student I did not have much, if any, campus life," Morgan said. "It was for this reason and my love for Temple, that I thought it was wonderful to help create more housing and continue to create a climate where campus life is a big part of the education process."
– A 27-floor tower with four- and one-bed apartments, plus a sky-top event space.
– A mid-rise building with four- and five-bed suites featuring two full bathrooms, state-of-the-art appliances and 42-inch flat screen televisions.
– Student lounges with 70-inch televisions, laundry facilities on every other floor and an on-site diner.
– Keyless entry and wireless internet.
– A 700-seat, bi-level public dining facility with vendors like Starbucks, Tony Luke's, Cafe Spice and at least one retailer offering vegan and vegetarian meals.
The complex will also have a Temple Police station located inside. Creedon stressed the school's emphasis on security.
"We have made a large investment in safety," he said "Our Clery Act statistics are below that of similarly situated urban schools." The Act requires colleges who receive federal financial aid to log and disclose campus crime and give students timely warnings about potential safety threats.
"We have a well-trained campus police force and add extra patrols on the weekends," Creedon said. "All students are informed how to keep safe."