PHILADELPHIA – Today Mayor Jim Kenney announced a $9 million investment in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Paschalville Library. Meeting with community members at Paschalville in Southwest Philadelphia, the Mayor revealed the next round of Rebuild sites that will begin major improvement projects this year:
- Athletic Recreation Center, 1450 N 26th Street
- Cherashore Playground, 851 West Olney Avenue
- Cohocksink Recreation Center, 2901 Cedar Street
- Paschalville Library, 6942 Woodland Avenue
- Russo Park Playground, 7301 Torresdale Avenue
- Shepard Recreation Center, 5700 Haverford Avenue
Each of the six sites serve high needs neighborhoods, and was approved by City Council in 2018 as part of the 64 initial Rebuild sites. Prior to today’s announcement, there were 24 active Rebuild projects across Philadelphia. Community engagement and design is expected to begin on these new projects this fall.
In recent years, the Paschalville Library has closed due to lack of heating in the winter and air conditioning in the hot summer months. Improvements at the site will address heating and cooling issues, modernize electrical systems, and make significant upgrades to the exterior of the building. Rebuild will fund a new roof, and replacement and restoration of the historic stained glass windows in the library, built in 1914. Other planned improvements will address ADA compliance issues throughout the building, and provide much needed new furniture. Final plans for the site will be developed through an extensive community engagement process in collaboration with the community, staff, and library patrons.
“Rebuild is making progress in neighborhoods across the city, and the results of these projects will be more parks, recreation centers, and libraries whose facilities live up to what Philadelphians deserve in their community spaces,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Equitable growth is only possible when our communities have high quality resources in their neighborhood, and residents have the opportunity to benefit from economic investment in public spaces.”
“The public libraries in the second district and across our city are woven into the social fabric of our neighborhoods, and a vital part of daily life to so many residents,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District). “Paschalville staff and community partners provide critical services here everyday; increasing literacy, job readiness, and encouraging a love of learning in all Philadelphians. It is about time this building receives a much deserved, and long awaited, facilities investment.”
The six latest Rebuild sites were selected to begin this year based on the urgency of facilities issues and community need. Many of these projects, including Paschalville, will be led by pre-qualified non-profit organizations, who can apply for grants to lead community engagement, design, and construction. Rebuild projects will also serve as training opportunities for participants in Rebuild’s workforce development programs, and are expected to meet the program’s ambitious inclusion goals for minority and woman-owned contracts.
Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Rebuild is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. To learn more, visit rebuild.phila.gov.
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as 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.
The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and The Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 31,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hot Spots; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach. With more than 5 million in-person visits and 5 million more online annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.