James Creedon was surprised that so many Temple students wanted a Wawa.
When Visualize Temple launched in April 2013, a website went live, allowing members of the Temple community to submit ideas they felt would help the university. Those ideas have been reviewed and responded to by administrators, including President Neil Theobald.
Creedon, the senior vice president for construction, facilities and operations, has responded to a number of ideas, including one suggesting an express subway from City Hall to Cecil B. Moore station and one proposing that the Burk Mansion at 1500 N. Broad St. be renovated and used as the president’s home.
However, one that caught Creedon’s eye – one of the most popular ideas on the website – was a suggestion that the administration lobby for an on-campus Wawa.
“We joke about that issue a lot, but it told us something,” Creedon said. “It said that they’re looking for food options. They’re looking for retail options.”
While a Wawa isn’t in the plans right now, Creedon said one of the goals of Visualize Temple is to bring more choices, not only with food, but with transportation. Improving the SEPTA experience was a popular request on Visualize Temple, Creedon said.
Three weeks ago, the administration sent an email to select students, telling them to “stay tuned for updates” on the plan. Creedon said it will include information on the new library and the movement of athletics – specifically soccer – to Main Campus.
Not every facilities project is part of the master plan. At a Board of Trustees meeting on May 6, the Facilities Committee approved a Creedon recommendation to demolish the Triangle Apartments. The buildings, located at Broad and Norris streets, were formerly used as graduate housing and will cost no more than $1.4 million to raze.
“The projects we take to the Board of Trustees aren’t necessarily always coming out of a master plan,” Creedon said, “We do hundreds of projects across this campus that aren’t part of a big Visualize Temple effort.”
Creedon said the current plan is to convert the apartments into green space and could be replaced when a plan is in place for the area.
The Temple Community Garden is moving from the same block as the Triangle Apartments to an unspecified location near the SEPTA Regional Rail station at 10th and Berks streets. While both projects will create green space on the same block, Creedon said the decision to move the garden was unrelated to the demolition of the Triangle Apartments.
– Text and images by Evan Cross