Citation: Woodall, Martha. 10 June 1995.”University Day Care is a Casualty.” The Philadelphia Inquirer, Local, pp.11.
In a June 1995 article of the The Philadelphia Inquirer, the closure of Temple University’s daycare facility at 1500 North Broad takes center stage. As any cursory search of newspaper articles on the building during this time would yield, the decision to close the daycare generated much controversy within the institution and the community as a whole. Parents whose childcare had been displaced by the closure repeatedly voiced their displeasure and shock at the sudden closing of the beloved facility. In addition, articles have mentioned student outrage at the daycare’s closure and the university’s attempts to mitigate any and all resistance to the foregone conclusion of the facility’s demise.
However, one voice that is rather underrepresented in news articles and any attention given the closure since are the daycare’s workers who were either laid off or redirected to other university departments – with the former being the more popular administrative choice. One particular interviewee, Joanne Schock, castigates Temple for their decision to put money ahead of the welfare of the community’s children and their workers.
The article reveals that Temple was no longer willing to shoulder the $60,000 annual maintenance subsidy as well as the costs incurred from the devastating 1993 fire that ravaged the main building. The daycare tuition costs from both university employees – who paid a higher fee – and those fees from students and community members were apparently not enough to offset the exorbitant maintenance costs of the old mansion. It is apparent, however, that the university also benefited from the laying off of fourteen full-time daycare employees – a cutting of costs that surely exceeded the maintenance fees at the source of the decision to close the daycare. And as one might assume, the university had no relocation plan for these terminated employees just as more than half of the affected families were left with no childcare.
This information opens up a new level of analysis surrounding the history of 1500 North Broad and the decision to close its daycare facility back in 1995. Adding the displaced workers to the narrative of disgruntled students, parents, and community members (with the inclusion of Temple’s budgetary disclosures), rounds out the story of the daycare’s closing as a decision that affected the administration’s people as well as the other more advertised victims. in so doing, this news article contributes a new meaning the building once had – as a place of employment for many Philadelphians.