Friday, May 24, 2013

Creedon's Clear-thinking Revival

Believe it or not, the only shot of SP's exterior on the internet.


Sometimes you have to think outside of the box.
Or, in the case of Temple's new indoor football facility, inside a box that was already built.
Credit James Creedon, Temple's vice-president for Construction, Facilities and Operations, with an out-of-the-box solution to Temple's recurring problem of finding a place to practice on inclement days.
“We thought, ‘Are there any other options that might be out there?’” Creedon said. “We started talking about the Student Pavilion, and thought that there might be some lower cost, cost-effective options that would achieve the same result with the Pavilion.”
Sitting a few feet Southeast of the corner of 15th and Norris was an unused building with a perfectly good roof high enough to once house a golf driving range and waiting to be demolished for a library. Heck, I used to play pick-up basketball in there no more than seven years ago when I had a Temple Fitness Club Alumni Membership pass.
Did the library REALLY need to go there?
Could that perfectly good (and relatively new, compared to most buildings on campus) structure be used for another purpose?
The Student Pavilion, once a White Elephant, has been revived and reinvented.
Call it Creedon's Clear-Thinking Revival.
We're rolling, rolling, rolling on the West Side of Broad.
“We thought, ‘Are there any other options that might be out there?’” Creedon said. “We started talking about the Student Pavilion, and thought that there might be some lower cost, cost-effective options that would achieve the same result with the Pavilion.”
Sweden checking in for a five-minute visit. Thanks, Sweden.

Now, instead of waiting a year or two down the road for a bubble to be wedged into the already small space around the Edberg-Olson Football Complex, the Owls can walk the couple blocks to practice at 15th and Norris.
Remember Hurricane Hanna?
The Owls had to bus down to the Nova Care Complex to practice three days that week before a home game against UConn, an overtime loss.
Al Golden, the head coach at the time, had a good relationship with Andy Reid.
Now that Reid is gone and Chip Kelly doesn't know Matt Rhule from Matt Damon, all bets are off for a similar continuing amicable relationship with the Eagles. No one wants to put 100 guys on a couple of buses and travel through downtown traffic for seven miles every time it rains. That's small-time.
Remember Hurricane Sandy?
The Owls had to hastily reschedule an off-day Monday into a practice for Sunday and missed an entire Tuesday practice altogether.
Now, no more bus rides to Nova Care.
The best thing about the indoor bubble is that it has a roof and will be ready with a nice turf field by Aug. 1.
Give that Creedon guy a raise.
Or at least a shorter and more spiffy job title.

14 comments:

TheWorkingBoy said...

I strongly believe TU Football should have an indoor facility, but I'm not for this decision. The Pavilion was supposed to be removed for the library and a 30 story skycraper office building. Broad St needs to be revitalized with new buildings -- alumni overwhelming support that idea. This is spending money to keep an ugly building on the school's best plot of real estate. It's in Temple's best interest to develop that land. I'm very disappointed. This is great for football but a terrible idea for the university as a whole.

Temple Football Forever said...

Interesting that this story states that the Pavilion was closed in Sept. to "prepare for demolition" yet not one hair on the Pavilion's figurative head was touched from Sept. to now.
Wonder how they were preparing it?

TheWorkingBoy said...

The library was held up as they needed to address the funding for it. Then when they hired Theobald, he put a stop on the entire 2020 plan because he wanted to come up with his own vision.

Here's what was supposed to go there: http://www.temple.edu/2020/2020-Executive_Summary.pdf

Go to page 4. Now that is being removed. The library is moving to where Barton is. Barton was going to become a park (page 6).

I want Football to have a facility but not if it means compromising that vision. TU deserves a campus that makes us proud. This plan was beautiful and could do that. President Theobald obviously doesn't see the bigger picture of how important it is for people to feel proud of your school and how we've all spent decades with Temple being underrated and just the local university in the bad area. This plan erases that and steps us forward.

Football needs an indoor facility. But not in that location. This is something bigger than needs to be done. This vision is TempleProud.

Temple Football Forever said...

That's one way to think of it.
The other way is you have the LC, BB practice, then football practice all in the same row. Symmetry, like the South Philly Stadium Complex.
That's a heckuva sports row.
If the LC and McGonigle weren't already attached to that row, I might agree with you that it's better suited for a library.
Since they are already there, a precedent has been set.

TheWorkingBoy said...

Why would Temple want to be like the South Philly Stadium Complex? Temple wants a dynamic neighborhood and that stadium area doesn't draw people in except for games -- there's no retail, no restaurants, and nothing exiting about that area.

LC and McGonigle are different from this facility. Those places host events, create street traffic, and are attractive. A practice facility does not bring foot traffic to Broad. And there is no synergy with having the football team beside the other teams -- the FB coaches are in a different facility than all the other coaches. Football has its on training room so no need to be next to McGonigle.

Broad St is Temple's chance to have an impressive gateway. Millions of people drive through campus every year. It would do wonders for this school's reputation to have Broad St revitalized with new buildings that help change the local attitudes.

The library on Broad St would increase foot traffic. That increase in foot traffic would make the area more desirable for restaurants, retail, and lots of small businesses to move around Temple. There's a BIGGER PICTURE here. It's about creating Temple has a destination. The 2020 vision would help Temple do that, help recruit better academic students and build a better reputation nationally.

I want football to have a stadium and indoor training facility. But I don't want it on Broad. I just see a much bigger picture for that area. We all want what is best for the university so I'm trusting the urban planners with this one. I see their vision and believe it will accomplish something that we all want: respect. We all want to end the decades of being the butt of jokes and undervalued. Broad St vitalization is like football winning the national championship. They would do wonders BUT Broad St revitalization will last forever and it can easily be done as we own the property and had the plan to do it. Go Temple!

Temple Football Forever said...

It already IS a sports complex.
This might be a temporary solution to an immediate problem.
I see the practice "bubble" going back to the E-O a couple of years down the road.
As far as putting the library there, that's up to the President and BOT.

TheWorkingBoy said...

So you think Temple should spend a couple million dollars today for a temporary solution? I'm sorry, but TU shouldn't be wasting money on temporary fixes when we have budget issues and increasing tuition costs. There are other facility upgrades that should be prioritized over temporary indoor field structure.

The BOT had nothing to do with the library move. That was 100% the President who has pushed for that. I'm close friends with several BOT members and I speak with them on a weekly basis. This is Theobald. And all the BOT are not happy with his decisions so far. He's not starting off on a good foot with a lot of people.

Temple Football Forever said...

The BOT hired him. They can fire him if they aren't happy.
I don't think they would have hired him if he wasn't properly vetted and they didn't pick his brain about his vision for Temple.
The BOT, led by Pat O'Connor, is a pretty smart group.

TheWorkingBoy said...

Theobald was not the BOT's first choice. The top pick pulled out of the process, and they had to start the search over again. Theobald was settled upon because Acting President Englert's wife had put pressure on him for years to retire and he had extended his stay to ease the transition after Hart left.

The jury is still out on Theobald. But I know one BOT that has already said they think he is acting more like a CFO than a CEO. Another BOT joined in that conversation and said the library's move off Broad was short sighted of Theobald and that he had not consulted them.

Temple is not an easy school to preside over. If I were Theobald, I'd be very cautious. He's not going to make it long by diving into politically sensitive issues like this. He doesn't have the political capital built up to spend yet.

Temple Football Forever said...

Well, he was CFO at Indiana.
WB, I love your well-thought-out responses and I know you love Temple as I do.
You seem to know your stuff and I welcome your continued contributions.
I agree.
Temple is NOT an easy school to preside over but it is a great school.
I, too, have my concerns about Neil.
I wish there was more Philly influence over the new athletic department.
I think BB was forced out and I think that's not a good thing.
We now have Hoosiers in 3 high-ranking Temple positions (President, AD, assistant AD).
Don't know there's a whole lot of understanding Bloomington about Philly,
I don't want us to be the Indiana football of the Big 10, that's for darn sure.
I like Jim Creedon, though.

MassOwl82 said...

This is a bigger mismatch than the Louisville game. TWB is Bridgewater.

Michael said...

I too liked the vision of the library on the west side of broad. It opens the campus up more I would have liked to see the indoor facility somewhere else on campus. Honestly I liked the idea of the library just because it got rid of the garbage sand volleyball/tennis courts, and the old Triangle apartments. It really would have beautified the street on both sides of Broad rather than the eyesore between McGonigal and Norris. They still need to demolish that area like they had previously planned.

TheWorkingBoy said...

I also think BB was forced out, but I haven't confirmed it. I got a head hod from some in the know though.

Temple is an amazing school. We've done already without any real vision. The reason I stood strongly behind 2020 was I could see where they were headed and knew how the execute it. It was a moment of reading through a Temple plan and thinking, "Man, they get it."

Fastforward to today and Theobald making changes. I'm getting some sinking feelings again. You know the ones we get every year when we think the football or bb teams ware going to get and then they start to disappoint. I feel like Theobald just took a perfectly great plan and has just undone it. Temple lossess again.....lol

Temple Football Forever said...

@massowl82 ... TWB? ...I'm sure it's something obvious that I'm missing but when I see TWB I think Temple Women's Basketball ...
as far as the facility, it SHOULD have been at 10th and Diamond five years ago (Golden wanted it).
I don't know what the holdup was (probably money).