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February 2011 Vol. 18 No. 4 Focus on School Closings

Finally, it's closing time

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.

By by Dale Mezzacappa

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.

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PlanPhilly is a website that chronicles planning, design, preservation, and development news in the Philadelphia region. The independent news entity is affiliated with PennPraxis at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and has over 6,000 registered users and 25,000 monthly unique visitors.

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