Look around North Broad Street in the heart of Temple University's main campus and point. You'll inevitably land on a place or parcel and think, "Didn't that used to be … ?"
"It changes," said Michael Scales, associate vice president of Temple's student affairs. "You can leave your alma matter and not come back for five years, and you walk around campus and you're like, 'Didn't that used to be?'"
Scales took Metro on a tour of Temple University’s new Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Residence Hall and Dining Complex at Broad and Cecil B. Moore yesterday, which represents a keystone in Temple's plan to reshape its urban enclave into an oasis.
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Scales showed us the guts of its new baby a day before students flooded its crisp corridors. He pointed to the hulking, full city-block complex and said, "Didn't that used to be the University Services building?"
The $216 million residential and dining complex — which will house 1,275 students from freshmen to seniors — is the most expensive residential tower the college has ever built. The site is comprised of three buildings, the jewel of which sits in the middle: a 30,000-square-foot, tree-lined terrace.
Students will live in a combination of singles, four and five-bed apartment-suites that cost about $10,000 for the year. Inside the dorm rooms, which resemble condominiums, students have floor-to-ceiling windows, a kitchenette and flat-screen televisions. The rooms are spacious. The bathroom is wide. But the views steal the show.
"We've taken a serious amount of time to create an investment that the students will see as a benefit," Scales said, "And it gives them excitement about the place that they'll call home."
• The top floor of Morgan Hall, with a panoramic view of the entire city, will be mainly used for conferences.
• A cafeteria, which sits along North Broad Street, is open to the public and features a Reading Terminal-like market with kiosks from Tony Luke's, Starbucks and Auntie Anne's, among others. The university is still looking for a tenant to rent the fine-dining restaurant space.
• Smaller meeting rooms throughout the three buildings have wide windows, soft chairs and even fireplaces. Screens roll from the ceilings; speakers cover walls.