Philly School District, Drexel break ground on $40M elementary and middle school

Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite at a press conference.
Photo credit Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The School District of Philadelphia broke ground on a $40 million project that's one of a kind for the city as the project brings two schools together with a university leasing them the space.

The students at Powel School need an upgraded space, according to school Principal Kimberly Ellerbee, who's anticipating their move to a new building next year.

"We are very overcrowded, and it really impacts our ability to program for students the way we desire," Ellerbee said. 

Ellerbee said that new space in West Philadelphia is owned by Drexel University and will house both Powel and Science Leadership Academy Middle School. 

A dedicated library, she said, is something they're looking forward to having.

"What we're seeing is really opportunities to leverage resources that will allow students and staff from both school communities to benefit," she said. 

Superintendent Dr. William Hite said the 87,000-square-foot, two-story building is the district's first co-location of a feeder school.

"This is all about creating personalized opportunities for young people and it's a project-based approach. We wanted to create a school in this area where the children from the Samuel Powel Elementary School would have a natural feeder into a middle school," Hite explained. 

This building will let students stay in the same location from kindergarten to eighth grade.