EAST FALLS — William Penn Charter School has a master plan that involves adding a new academic building and athletic facility.
William Penn Charter School’s master plan includes three phases, with step one being nearly completed.
“First thing they are working on is building a new baseball field. The field should be completed this spring,” said John Thiel, director of athletics.
The majority of the work on the field is complete, with just landscaping work being done now, according to school officials. The school's baseball team is using the field this season.
In addition to the new baseball field, the school is working on adding a new lower school and an Athletics and Wellness Center.
“We are developing all the plans so that we can break ground on a new Athletics and Wellness Center. The Athletics and Wellness Center will go on top of the old baseball field,” said Thiel.
The new center will include classrooms, equipment facilities, four basketball courts, a wrestling room, a fitness center, a nutrition center, lockers and a training room.
“Hopefully, this will be a facility that will meet the needs of our current and future students, athletically, nutritionally and academically," Thiel said. "I hope it will give them a place to gather and support one another.”
The school also made the decision to add a new lower school, which will take 18 to 24 months to complete.
Beth Glascott, assistant head of school, said administrators and board members started the strategic vision years ago, believing the school needed more space.
“It started with our strategic vision," she said. "It was created around 2009 and was approved by the board in 2011. It was the fifth goal about space that prompted us to focus on the master plan. We realized our current programs aren’t working with our spaces that are decades old. We want spaces that will serve our students now and 25 years from now. ”
William Penn Charter School announced the master plan to the public in October 2017. The school created the “How Far” capital campaign in an effort to raise funds for the project.
“We announced the public phase in 2017. The majority of our funds came from graduates of the school,” said Glascott.
The “How Far” campaign has been successful in raising $71 million out of its $75 million goal.
Glascott said the school is very committed to staying where it is and made the decision not to relocate.
“We realized we are very committed to East Falls," she said. "That commitment to East Falls is really, really deep for Penn Charter. We are connected here.”
The assistant head of school said she believes the new renovations will be beneficial to students.
“The kids that go here will get a first-rate education,” she said.
To check out the school's progress, visit campaign.penncharter.com.