In Need of More Space, Roman Catholic High School Plans Expansion

Thanks to active supporters, Roman's future includes a new field house, classrooms and a fine arts center.

Roman Catholic High School, Photo by Beyond My Ken via Wikipedia

Roman Catholic High School, Photo by Beyond My Ken via Wikipedia

Supporters of Roman Catholic High School at Broad and Vine Street have drawn up an impressive expansion plan that includes more classroom space, a fine arts center, parking and even a new field house for their storied basketball and athletic programs.

The Inquirer reports that supporters of Roman, lead by Barry Howard, Executive Vice President of Equus Capital Partners, acquired the adjoining lot to the rear of the current campus in a “swap” with Sunday Breakfast Association Inc., an institution that services the homeless, for another parcel. The newly acquired lot will be connected to the school and become the site of the field house and classroom space.

Looking for a dedicated space for the fine arts program, supporters also purchased the property at 13th and Wood Street for $2.07 million. Currently the site of a warehouse, Roman’s future plans for the site also include dedicated parking for the school. Howard expects the cost of the on-campus construction phases of the project to total $7.5 million, with the Wood Street project to cost between “$3 million to $4 million,” according to The Inquirer.

How did it all happen? Roman has put together a diverse advisory board of alumni and local business and professional leaders to help develop a plan for the future. From The Inquirer:

Howard said the group of supporters had raised money for Roman from a string of donors led by the Connelly Foundation. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has agreed to help, said Thomas A. Leonard, a lawyer, real estate investor, and anchor of Roman’s fund-raising since the school was threatened with closure in the 1980s.

The list of advisory board members also include Dan DiLella, President of Equus Capital Partners, Jerald Goodman, partner of Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLC and Peter Longstreath, former President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.

With the announcement of the new field house and fresh off its championship in the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Classic’s National Division tournament over the holiday break, it looks like the hits just keep on rollin’ in for the basketball team.

• Supporters put together high school expansion plan for Roman [The Inquirer]