North Philadelphia is now home to the new Beech International Complex at Temple University.
Located at 1520 Cecil B. Moore Ave., the $20 million, four-story, 80,000 square foot building features 100 housing units, a Mugshots Café, conference space, an international market place and space for lectures, meetings and theater.
The modern green structure was designed to accommodate 200 international students, students studying international affairs, visiting scholars and international researchers.
The complex, which was completed September 2011, created 200 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.
Elected officials, Temple University representatives and community leaders packed the complex’s central garden plaza to mark its official opening on Friday morning.
Beech Companies President and CEO Ken Scott opened the ceremony by recalling when they broke ground on the complex on October 1, 2010.
“Imagine that just one year ago, we were standing on a cloudy, rainy day in a bunch of mud having a dedication,” Scott told attendees. “The building is completed, which a lot of people don’t believe. It’s open and ready.”
“This is a wonderful enhancement to the community, to Temple, to the city. It’s something of which we can all be very proud,” said Richard L. Bazelon, Beech Interplex chairman, board of directors of the new complex.
Mayor Michael Nutter hailed Temple University for its investment in the community.
“This university continues to invest, not only in its own infrastructure but in the community — putting people to work, educating young folks and revitalizing this part of North Philadelphia,” Nutter said.
“I could not be more excited about this development. It is in fact beautiful, but it also is functional and will support the goals of Temple University.”
The complex was lauded as a facility that not only houses Temple international students, but also serves to help revitalize North Philadelphia.
“We’re very excited to have our students here in an organized way, where they can learn and grow together,” said Ken Lawrence, Temple’s senior vice president for government, community and public affairs of the new complex.
“Temple University looks forward to continuing working with Beech Companies, working with our elected officials. There’s great things happening in North Philadelphia. This is just one of them.”
Congressman Chaka Fattah highlighted the link between Temple students and the impact of a global economy.
“To see the growth in international students, I think, will really allow our students from Philadelphia and nearby suburbs to engage with people who come from places which will play a role in their lives. The reality is that our young people are going to have to live in a global economy,” said U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
Taken from The Philadelphia Tribune
Contact Tribune staff writer Ayana Jones at (215) 893-5747 or AJones@phillytrib.com.
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