PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple University’s rowing teams officially have a place on the Schuylkill River, now that their historic boat house is finally back to its former glory.
The building that was once a crumbling and condemned site along the river is now the pride and joy of the school’s rowing teams.
Following two years of construction, the fences at the East Park Canoe House are down.
“It’ll definitely be a lot more comfortable, especially on race day when it’s windy and cold. Even having recruits come down and see the boat house will be even more exciting to bring them here and for them to want to come here,” said Lea Millio, co-captain of the women’s rowing team.
Designated a Fairmount Park historic site in the early 1990s, the building has been standing on the banks of the river since 1914.
However, in 2008, it fell into disrepair, forcing the rowing teams at Temple out, and into tents nearby.
“The biggest struggle with being in the tents is just exposure, really. I remember one time it flooded and it was up to our waists,” said Emilie Mehler, co-captain of the women’s rowing team.
Thanks in part to millions in funding from the city, and millions more from philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, Temple’s oars are once again hanging proudly on the walls, next to equipment that will be used by the Philadelphia Police Department’s Marine Unit.
“Now to have a home, it’s just a really great feeling and we feel like we can really succeed now,” said lightweight rower Austin Burke.
Temple’s rowing team began using the historic canoe house in 1969.