PHILADELPHIA — Today Rebuild Executive Director Nicole Westerman announced that $13.8 million in grant funds have been awarded to two local nonprofit organizations to carry out major renovations at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center in North Philadelphia and the Heitzman Recreation Center in Harrowgate. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Rebuild is committing hundreds of millions of dollars to restore parks, recreation centers, and libraries across the City.
Beech Interplex, Inc. will carry out the $12 million project to completely renovate and modernize the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center and playground. Harrowgate-based nonprofit IMPACT Services will deliver a $1.8 million improvement project at the Heitzman Recreation Center.
“Rebuild is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize and transform Philadelphia’s neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries,” Rebuild Executive Director Nicole Westerman said. “Partnering with trusted community nonprofits like Beech Interplex and IMPACT Services allows the City to complete renovations in more places, more quickly, with the participation of more residents.”
“Beech Interplex has been integral to the ongoing revitalization of the Cecil B. Moore area, and to have this local, experienced community development organization as a Rebuild partner for Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center just makes sense,” City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “Local investment and localized economic return in neighborhoods is exactly what Council envisioned when we authorized the Rebuild program. I’m thrilled to be part of an historic investment that will deliver the world-class recreation center residents in the 5th District deserve.”
Among the first sites selected for Rebuild investment, Cecil B. Moore and Heitzman are active centers at heart of their communities that face major facilities failures due to years of deferred maintenance and lack of investment. The selected nonprofit partners will work alongside the recreation centers’ staff, families, and residents to identify site-specific improvements and design a complete scope of work to modernize and transform these beloved community spaces.
“Connecting residents to each other and their community is at the heart of the rec center’s mission, and we are honored to be leading this effort,” Dr. Kenneth Scott, President, Beech Interplex, Inc. said. “Community revitalization works best when we all work together. For the past 30 years, Beech has worked to revitalize the North Philadelphia community and is excited to be part of the Mayor’s Rebuild initiative, working alongside our City Council President and the rec center advisory council to bring the community together to design and build a 21st century facility.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of a project to reinvest in our neighborhood’s public spaces,” Casey O’Donnell, President and CEO of IMPACT Services, said. “The Heitzman Rec Center renovation will not only enhance the appearance of our neighborhood, but provide opportunities for positive community engagement that will have a lasting effect. The Rebuild process places the needs and wants of residents at the center of the project, which is vital to its long term success.”
IMPACT Services and Beech Interplex, Inc. have committed to Rebuild’s ambitious diversity targets, including 25 to 30 percent of all spending on professional services contracts and 30 to 35 percent of all spending on construction contracts go to minority-owned businesses. The diversity of their contracting teams was a key consideration in the selection process to lead these multi-million dollar projects.
“Rebuild will transform Heitzman Rec Center,” said Councilman Mark Squilla. “Following major infrastructure improvements, this center will be a welcoming place and a treasured resource for the young and old in the Harrowgate community. I am pleased that IMPACT Services was chosen to be the project leader at Heitzman and will fully engage the community in the redesign of this center.”
Rebuild will award similar grants to other pre-qualified non-profit organizations to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in facilities improvements to Philadelphia’s parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the coming years. Rebuild is currently finalizing grant awards for three of the other early Rebuild projects (Olney Recreation Center, Vare Recreation Center, and Glavin Playground).
Mayor Jim Kenney and Council President Darrell L. Clarke will join Beech Interplex. Inc. and the community to celebrate the historic investment at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center on Saturday, March 23 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
The Heitzman Recreation Center community launch event will be announced in the coming weeks. More details about both projects, and upcoming Rebuild events, can be found at rebuild.phila.gov.
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild)
Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
Beech Interplex, Inc.
Since 1990, Beech Interplex, Inc. has successfully carried out its mission to revitalize North Philadelphia by promoting community empowerment, neighborhood revitalization, entrepreneurship, and advocating the need for housing rehabilitation and homeownership. Beech also assists future and current college students through offering scholarships to deserving minority students of color and program giving grants to nonprofit organizations in North Philadelphia.
IMPACT Services Corporation
IMPACT Services Corporation (IMPACT) has been working in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia to help people reenter the workforce, train for jobs, find housing, and build community since 1974. Our work includes building housing in an effort to end veteran homelessness, addressing unjust policies that perpetuate poverty at all levels of government and fostering strong connections among residents to increase resiliency and social cohesion. The foundation of our work lies in our ability to nurture partnerships with other mindful organizations. By aligning missions, resources, and creativity we are able to garner the potential that exists in our community. For more information, please visit www.impactservices.org.