Photo: Harvey Finkle
William Penn High School is one school whose future is at stake in the District’s facilities master planning process. The building, in need of millions of dollars in repairs, has been closed since 2010, but no final decision on its status has been made. Shown here is the cluttered lobby at the North Broad Street entrance.
There is no easy way to close schools. Embedded in neighborhood history, these buildings hold memories for thousands. They are the source of pride, loyalty and identity – no matter how deteriorated the building, how inadequate the academics, and how empty the hallways.
For decades, Philadelphia school officials have repeatedly put off any hard look at what to do in the face of departing students, aging buildings, and stretched resources.