Below is a message from President John Fry:
A transformational development will rise on the Drexel campus over the next several years, providing a new home for two high-performing and innovative West Philadelphia public schools, and bringing the College of Nursing and Health Professions from Center City to University City.
I’m pleased to announce that Drexel has entered into an agreement with developer Wexford Science & Technology, LLC for the design and construction of two buildings on the former University City High School site, on the western end of the University City campus at 36th and Filbert streets, with financing provided by Ventas, Inc. These two projects will bring more dynamism to our campus and further connect us with our neighboring community.
Up first: the design and construction of a $38 million home for the Powel Elementary School and the Science Leadership Academy Middle School. The school project is nearly fully funded through a combination of private and public funding secured by Drexel, aided by generous contributions from the Lenfest Foundation and now, Wexford and Ventas. The final funds needed to start the project will be sought from other public sources.
Once all the funding is in hand, construction on the K-8 facility is expected to begin later this year and be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year. The School District of Philadelphia will lease the building from Drexel and the facility will house both the Powel School, currently at 36th Street and Powelton Avenue, and the Science Leadership Academy Middle School, which opened in 2016 at Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships and recently moved into space at 3600 Market Street.
The second project is an academic building to house Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, which will relocate from Center City under a long-term lease agreement with Wexford. Under the terms, Wexford will finance, develop, and construct the building for occupancy in 2022.
The College of Nursing and Health Professions is currently located at Three Parkway and two other buildings in Center City. Its move to University City will enable the College to consolidate academic and research programs, and allow its students, faculty and professional staff to have easier access to the full resources of the University, including the libraries, fitness center, theaters, athletic fields, student organizations, dining facilities and more. In addition to providing state-of-the-art academic facilities, the new building also will facilitate greater collaboration between the College and Drexel’s other colleges and schools.
The two projects will further our roots as an anchor institution in West Philadelphia that is focused on both innovation and inclusion. I hope you share my excitement in looking ahead to groundbreaking ceremonies for these two pivotal additions to our campus community.