BACK TO SCHOOL: PHILADELPHIA IS A SMART CHOICE FOR EDUCATION

In Philadelphia, the end of summer is the start of an exciting time for the city’s economy, as students of all ages go back to school. Philadelphia is one of the nation’s leading educational centers with over 25 degree- granting institutions of higher learning, a public school system serving more than 145,000 students, more than 80 charter schools and over 20 independent private schools. The education sector is a key driver of Philadelphia’s economy, employing faculty, aides, management and administrative staff, counselors, psychologists, nurses, facility managers, and so many more. Most importantly, these organizations are educating their students and working towards ensuring Philadelphia’s workforce of the future.

PIDC is proud to have supported clients in the educational sector with low-interest loans, tax exempt financing, administration of state grants, and the sale of city-owned land. We want to congratulate a few of these clients who are celebrating the openings of their new facilities for this academic year. These include:

The Philadelphia School (TPS) was founded in 1972 and is a coeducational independent private school. TPS has transformed a former city property at 2501 South Street into a beautiful and green part of its school campus, as well as created an attractive new entryway for 2501 Lombard Street. The Ellen Schwartz and Jeremy Siegel Early Childhood Education Center was completed by the first day of school, Wednesday, September 5th . The facility includes many sustainable features, including geothermal heat, and provides classrooms for 80 pre-school children and kindergarteners, allowing the school to expand its enrollment over the next four years. It also includes a 3,100 square-foot garden that will be used for a garden-based science program, as well as recreational use. The project created 15 new permanent jobs, and supported 28 construction jobs. PIDC provided assistance on the project through the sale of the city land to TPS, the issuance of tax-exempt bond financing, and the administration of the Commonwealth Redevelopment Assistance Capital grant for the project.

Frankford Friends School (FFS) was founded in 1833 and is a non-profit Quaker school on Orthodox Street in the Frankford neighborhood of Philadelphia. FFS constructed a new 5,68 square foot one-story building adjacent to the Frankford Meetinghouse on its historic campus. The facility, which will open in a few weeks, was built to house middle school classes (Grades 6, 7 and 8) and also includes an expanded music program room, a science room, a multi-purpose room that can be used for before- and after-school care and summer programs as well as community activities. The project included energy efficient measures and sustainable design strategies.

The project created over 25 construction jobs. Enrollment at the school has increased significantly as a result of the project, and the school expects to add staff as a result. PIDC provided a bridge loan for the Redevelopment Assistance Capital grant that the organization received from the Commonwealth, as well as administered the grant on FFS’ behalf.

Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. was founded in 1977 and is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education, and health services; leadership development; and advocacy. Congreso provides services to residents from throughout the City, but the majority of its 14,000 clients reside in the area known as Eastern North Philadelphia. On August 16th, Congreso opened the Trujillo Center, a 57,000 square-foot building which includes a permanent home for Pan American Academy Charter School (PAACS), as well as Harcum College at Congreso, which are part of the educational components to Congreso’s cradle-to-career pipeline of services. The state-of-the-art building will serve over 700 K-8 PAACS students and up to 300 adult students pursuing their associates’ degree through Harcum at Congreso.

In addition to classrooms, a cafeteria/auditorium, a library, and technology labs, the building features a secured outdoor play space for kindergarten students and an outdoor science learning lab. A total of 65 jobs are housed within the Trujillo Center including 45 professional educators, 10 administrative, community, and other support staff, and 10 adjunct professors. The project also created approximately 78 related construction jobs. PIDC provided a bridge loan for Congreso’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital grant that the organization received from the Commonwealth, as well as administered the grant on Congreso’s behalf.

 

PIDC has a variety of resources to support the continued growth and investment in Philadelphia by universities, colleges, charter schools, and private schools and will be hosting an event in October to discuss our available programs and services. For more information or to be included in the invitation list for the event, please contact Carol de Fries at cdefries@pidc-pa.org or 215-496-8150.