City officials and the Rebuild team held a groundbreaking ceremony in the Northeast to kick off construction at Pelbano’s playground and courts

Pelbano Recreation Center renderings available for download

PHILADELPHIA – This afternoon Mayor Jim Kenney joined City officials, Councilmember Brian O’Neill, and Rebuild Philadelphia to announce a $1.3 million investment in the 10th District. Pelbano Recreation Center and its local community members kicked off construction during a groundbreaking ceremony for the recreation center which will receive numerous outdoor upgrades. These renovations are funded by the City’s Rebuild program which is investing more than $500 million into more than 70 Philadelphia public spaces.

“I am excited to be back in Northeast Philly today, celebrating $1.3 million in investments right here at Pelbano Recreation Center,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We are delivering on our promise to bring high-quality parks and playgrounds to communities across our city, and we are certain these overdue improvements will promote active lifestyles and outdoor activities in a healthy and safe space for our children and youth.”

Totaling $1.3 million, renovations outside the Pelbano Recreation Center include:

  • Demolition and replacement of the current sprayground
  • New multigenerational playground
  • Demolition and resurfacing of the basketball court
  • New basketball and volleyball equipment
  • Updated landscaping and benches

“We listened to the Northeast community and today Rebuild begins our journey of giving residents what they need and want,” said Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong. “This neighborhood is in for a special treat once all of Pelbano’s outdoor upgrades are completed. We’re thrilled this recreation center will continue to promote active lifestyles for today’s youth and the generations to come.”

“The upcoming improvements to Pelbano Playground will have a positive impact on the Rhawnhurst neighborhood and the children and families who utilize it,” said Councilmember Brian J. O’Neill (10th District).

Recreation centers and playgrounds are critical to promote education and fitness for residents of all ages. It is equally important for communities to have sheltered spaces that inspire creativity and togetherness.

“Pelbano Playground has long been a beloved community hub and its proximity to Northeast Older Adult Center has allowed the site to uniquely embrace intergenerational programming,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Acting Commissioner Orlando Rendon. “We’re excited that these much-needed improvements are on their way, and know that they will help empower our youth to grow into responsible, confident, and well-rounded individuals, setting them on a path towards a bright future.”

Throughout the process, Rebuild partners with community members to ensure the site renovations fit the local community’s wants and needs.

“In today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to have safe spaces for our youth to learn and grow and interact with one another,” said Farrell Elementary School Principal Peter Jepsen. “Pelbano Rec Center has been serving our school’s community for a long time and it’s an integral part of our students and our families’ lives. We are more excited than ever for this new beginning for the rec center.”


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.