Today, Mayor Jim Kenney, City officials and community members celebrated the reopening of the newly renovated Heitzman Recreation Center, located on a 3-acre site on Castor Avenue in the Harrowgate neighborhood. The $4.3 million of improvements were made possible by the City’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s historic investment in public spaces.

The City and our partners were proud to work alongside the Harrowgate community to realize a significant renovation at Heitzman Recreation Center,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Today marks the opening of a much-needed safe place to play and gather with the community.”

“Heitzman was the first Rebuild site selected in my District, so I am thrilled to cut the ribbon today with my colleague, Councilmember Driscoll, who will take the reins on representing this newly renovated facility,”  said Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District).

“We thank Councilmember Squilla for his diligent leadership and representation at Heitzman Recreation Center and look forward to a modern facility and playground for all to enjoy,” said Councilmember Michael Driscoll (6th District).

Totaling $4.3 million in investment, the site improvements include:

Building exterior and interior:

  • New windows and doors
  • Exterior masonry updates
  • Roof repair
  • New restrooms including an ADA restroom
  • HVAC system replacement
  • Improved layout for additional accessibility
  • New equipment including lighting, electrical system, fire alarm, security cameras, new signage, and new finishes throughout
  • Completely revitalized interior finishes and flooring of the entire recreation center
  • Renovated gymnasium
  • New multisport mini pitch
  • Brand new outdoor basketball courts


  • New playgrounds and fitness equipment including a new mini multi-sport pitch, refurbished basketball courts, and game tables
  • Improved accessibility
  • New security cameras, signage, landscaping and trees, and refurbished fencing

“Rebuild’s main priority is to provide safe and modern spaces for our communities where they can learn, grow and play. Heitzman is an example of our work to provide neighborhoods with the spaces they deserve. As we open the newly renovated Heitzman Recreation Center, I look forward to seeing how this updated space brings the community closer,” said Kira Strong, Rebuild Executive Director.

The community engagement and improvement process has been led by Impact Services through Rebuild’s non-profit delivery method.

“Impact believes that there is no better investment than safe play spaces for our kids,” said Casey O’Donnell, CEO of Impact Services. “We at Impact Services are proud to support the City of Philadelphia’s Rebuild work at Heitzman and honored that we could be part of the project.”

Heitzman Recreation Center was renamed in 1977 in honor of Robert T. Heitzman, a long-time director and organizer of youth sports. The renovations to the site provide opportunities for children to play and grow in alignment with Heitzman’s legacy.

“The investment Rebuild is making in our parks and recreation centers is critical. Renovations at sites like Heitzman bring more community members together. We’re very excited to welcome the Harrowgate community back to a new, improved Heitzman Recreation Center,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Parks & Recreation Commissioner.

Rebuild is a historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries across Philadelphia. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild’s promise to acknowledge history, engage the community and invest intentionally seeks to uplift pivotal community spaces, empower neighborhoods, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion.

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of its people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 166 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe, enjoyable recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. In 2017, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, set about implementing the park system’s first strategic plan: Our Path to 2020 and Beyond. As a result, PPR is undertaking a period of historic change, setting the department on a course to become a modern, equitable and exceptional parks and recreation system. Visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.