Gallery: This Is What A Shuttered Philadelphia School Looks Like

Photo credit: Conrad Benner

Photo credit: Conrad Benner

If you’ve been following coverage of the school closings that swept the city, news of how the former Edward H. Bok Technical High School would be living its second life may not come as a surprise.

Last month, we reported how developer Lindsey Scannapieco plans to transform the building into what Next City calls “the city’s largest creative community space.” Indeed, Scannapieco envisions a mixed-use building with rental units, terraces, co-working spaces (a feature which, while growing in the city, is sorely lacking in East Passyunk), and a rooftop cinema. Until then, however, Bok is being used as a storage center.

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Morning Headlines: School District Lists Two Properties As Pending Sale

School District of Philadelphia

Ten of the twenty shuttered school buildings that were put on the market early this year have been listed as pending sale. However, two of these properties may not merit the label just yet.

The Passyunk Post’s Albert Stumm reports the buildings in question are the former Edward Bok Technical High School, whose 338,000 square feet is listed at $1.7 million (and requires up to “$55 million in structural repairs”) and Vare Elementary, which offers 54,000 square feet and was up for $2.5 million.

Following a May open house, Bok got “several offers,” while Vare will supposedly be converted into apartments. At least, that’s Stumm’s best guess since no concrete proposals have been mentioned for either property. So why the “pending” title?:

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Morning Headlines: Twenty Shuttered School Buildings To Be Listed for Immediate Sale

School District of Philadelphia

When it comes to the sale of shuttered school buildings, no one has been more about picking up the pace than City Council President Darrell Clarke. Last fall, the School District put up 28 buildings for sale on their website. Only 7 were listed as expedited sales and open to bidding; the rest were there to get “expressions of interest”. Needless to say, Clarke was not a fan of the slow-moving approach.

Now, however, the District is facing fiscal troubles once more and, as the Inquirer’s Troy Graham reports, appears to finally be taking Clarke’s advice. Twenty school buildings will be listed for immediate sale, one of which is North Broad’s William Penn High School, one of the schools that appeared on last year’s list. More from the Inquirer:
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Will Alexander Wilson School Be Turned Into Housing?

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Photo credit: Great Philly Schools.

Word on the street is Orens Brothers Real Estate will get the former Alexander Wilson School at 46th and Woodland. As mentioned earlier, the building is one of several shuttered School District properties being eyed by potential buyers.

Orens Brothers intends to convert the building into a residential space with possible ground floor retail, not too surprising considering their rehab track record. Their most recent renovation was the infamous Croydon Building known for being a squatter haven and having been the site of a rooftop murder in 2007. That property has since been turned into a residential unit aimed at students.

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Morning Headlines: District Gets 20 Bids for Shuttered School Buildings

School District of Philadelphia

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Another lumbering step forward has been taken in the effort to raise budget money for the School District of Philadelphia. Since last year’s December 17th deadline, the District has received 20 offers for the 28 school buildings for sale, seven of which were “expedited sales” and open to individual bids.

Putting the abandoned buildings on the market and using the money to fill its budget gap has it proponents, but another deadline looms. As the Inquirer’s Troy Graham puts it:

To cover what the city pledged toward the district’s budget deficit, sales worth at least $61 million have to be completed by June 30. If not, the city would have to dip into its funds to make up the difference.

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