More new buildings on the way, Vallas says
With the November groundbreaking for the School District's "High School of the Future," designed in conjunction with the Microsoft Corporation, School District CEO Paul Vallas pointed out that the District will break ground within the next year on several other new buildings.
The District is in the second year of a $2.4 billion construction program involving dozens of projects, and at a November press briefing, Vallas named six other projects where he anticipates construction will begin in 2005:
- A new building to replace Audenried High School in South Philadelphia
- A new building to replace Fels High School on the old John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital site in Northeast Philadelphia
- A new building to replace Lincoln High School, on the existing site in Northeast Philadelphia
- A "second Olney High School" that will allow the District to reduce school size in the existing Olney building
- A new Hunting Park elementary school, slated for G Street and Hunting Park Avenue
- A new building to replace the Willard School in Kensington.
Vallas said the District plans to overcome limitations on borrowing through "turnkey" agreements with companies that will acquire land, build schools, and make them available through a lease or purchase arrangement with the District. The Olney and Lincoln projects will use this arrangement, he said.