Independence Charter School Completes $ 9 Million Capital Expansion | New
A special groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Independence Charter School on Friday, unveiling its $ 9 million capital expansion.
“The expansion provides an expanded and modernized facility for students to dream big about their future and develop the skills and competencies necessary to achieve those dreams,” said ICS CEO Tanya Ruley-Mayo.
“We can now organize school-wide programs, develop more dynamic programs and partnerships, and provide improved health and safety features to all members of the school. The more than 800 ICS students represent more than 40 city zip codes, which means Philadelphia students have access to a world-class education and cutting-edge learning environment, ”said Ruley-Mayo.
The ceremony took place in the Center City building at 1600 Lombard Street. Two student representatives, the construction and design team, the director of ICS, the CEO and members of the board of directors proudly presented the new facility.
“The ribbon cut symbolizes the evolution of ICS since its inception 20 years ago. It means hope for the future and endless possibilities for student learning and engagement, ”said Ruley-Mayo.
With enhanced learning zones as well as recreational and dining environments that meet new COVID protocols, ICS will serve a diverse community of over 800 learners, in the now 25,000 square foot facility designed to promote fairness. and excellence.
ICS is one of Philadelphia’s unique K-8 community charter schools that also offers bilingual education. The school now has its first gymnasium and auditorium, a larger cafeteria, a rooftop play area and a ground floor play area, four additional classrooms, as well as offices and meeting spaces. additional.
This project also provided for the 5,000 square foot renovation of the existing facility, and the schedule allowed for the incorporation of pandemic health and safety requirements, such as contactless features and improved HVAC systems into the facilities. two buildings.
Other areas that were addressed during the school renovation included space for physical education and fitness and movement classes.
The school’s Griffins basketball team can host home games for the first time. School-wide programs can now be held in the gymnasium instead of a restricted outdoor space outside. There are designated areas for tutoring and small meetings.
The cafeteria area has been considerably extended and modernized. Both existing and new buildings have upgraded HVAC systems, touchless toilets and an ADA compliant alarm system. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, ICS has moved quickly and successfully to virtual learning for all students.
“Given the circumstances, this project could not have been more successful. After years of planning and collecting feedback from stakeholders, ICS led the way in June 2019. Construction was originally scheduled to be completed in August 2020, but supply shortages due to the pandemic have changed that timeline. One thing we’ve learned through all of this is to be flexible, ”said Ruley-Mayo.
“I am very proud of the steadfastness of our community in the face of many obstacles. As Principal Kristen [Long] “We CAN do hard things” would say, and this building project exemplifies the spirit of SCI: fairness, growth, community and courage. “