A rendering of the new campus, which is now completed. Via AgnesIrwin.org.
Last week parents and interested stakeholders got a look at the new campus of Agnes Irwin, a private girls’ school in Rosemont, which has undergone a significant expansion with the addition of swank new facilities. Given that it’s so close to Villanova, which is planning its own expansion, we’re thinking the prep school could offer the university some tips because it clearly knows how to get things done.
The Campus Improvements Project is the culmination of a 10-year AIS master plan that involved philanthropic giving on a massive scale. Here’s what’s new (’Nova has some of this, but not all):
- 55,000-square-foot Athletic Center
- Competition-sized basketball court that converts to two full-sized practice courts
- Squash Center with four squash courts and viewing area
- Rowing Center with rowing tank
- Four new tennis courts
- Resurfaced competitive playing fields, including a turf field
- Field hockey practice field
- New softball field
- New Student Life Center with expanded dining facility
- Innovation Center for Digital Media and Technology
- Green roof (and other sustainable building elements)
- Weight room and workout center
Rendering of original planned campus expansion on Lancaster Avenue via Villanova.edu.
It’s been a NIMBY nightmare for Villanova. Like Drexel, Temple and Penn, Villanova has been pursuing its own plans for a renaissance to increase the quality of campus and student life. But the former three schools contend with less residential opposition than does Villanova, whose initial go at an expansion plan was rejected by Radnor [...]
Someone get Meryl Levitz on the horn! This is big news. The real estate website Estately has determined that Philadelphia is unusually hospitable to adult children who want to live at home.
Why Philly? Although the eds and meds economy “cranks out college grads,” 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s four-year-degree holders owe an average of $29,959 in student loans. Thus: “It’s no surprise that a lot of those diplomas will be posted at mom’s house, especially since unemployment is at 8.4 percent.”
Then there’s this:
Germantown High School. Photo by Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons
Mayor Nutter and School Superintendent Hite announced a revised plan to get all those closed schools sold on the real estate market. The new, improved Philadelphia Schools Repurposing Initiative, which has approval from the School Reform Commission (SRC), will allow “highly marketable properties to be identified for expedited sale in order to generate much-needed funds for the School District.” (It’s a good idea to separate the wheat from the chaff; there are some schools that simply don’t have a viable commercial future, unfortunately, and others that have great potential.)
In a statement, Nutter said he and Hite are looking for ways to repurpose the schools “as quickly as possible.” Hite emphasized speed as well, “The School District of Philadelphia recognizes the importance of moving quickly to ensure appropriate reuse of the buildings that became vacant as a result of the Facilities Master Plan.”
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger, who will be involved in the project, was a bit more cautious: “This is a complicated, sometimes lengthy process as other school districts across America have experienced,” he said, perhaps so that in a few months he can point back to that very quote.
Photo by Bradley Maule for Hidden City
Over at Hidden City, Nathaniel Popkin and Bradley Maule have posted an exclusive first look at Temple’s new residence complex, Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Hall, which opens on Monday. Popkin, who filled in for Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron while she was in Boston on fellowship, gives the building an extremely favorable first review of the MGA Partners-designed complex:
But a great building, of course, does much more than meet the private needs of the owner. It performs multiple, intricate functions all at once. It endures and grows in our imaginations; it fixes itself as a kind of landmark on the urban landscape. It contributes to wider societal goods and goals. Morgan Hall is indeed such a building.
“It’s only taken 129 years, but Temple University is seeking a large-scale restaurant for its North Philly campus, a feature that other big-city university neighborhoods regard as a given.”
Photo: Gerry Senker
Emergency vehicles are at the scene at 12th and Berks, where part of a building under construction, the Science Education Research Center, has fallen in. An injured construction worker has been lowered onto a stretcher and is being taken for treatment. Below, Temple’s most recent tweet: TU Advisory: TU Police reporting incident on construction site [...]
The listing for this new-to-market University City home for sale, built around 1925, is as brief as they get at the moment: “stunning light filled fully updated home in Sadie alexander catchment. updated windows, electric, a/c, insulation and parking!” Perhaps, though, that’s all that needs to be said given the photos, which reveal the beautiful [...]
• Domani Developers converting former Fishtown baseball factory into 30 residences [PlanPhilly] • Philadelphia’s Tough Kensington Neighborhood On The Rise [CBS3] • Pew: 30% of delinquent Philly property taxes should be collectible [Naked City/CP] • Inga Saffron: Brick by brick, an upscaling of Drexel’s campus [Inquirer] • Archdiocese seeking to liquidate 8 properties [Daily News]