The Graduate Hospital neighborhood has two traditional public schools, Chester A. Arthur at 20th & Catharine and E.M. Stanton at 17th & Christian. A few years back, the Arthur school got a new playground which eventually morphed into a full schoolyard renovation in the summer of 2016. Last year, we told you that Stanton was getting a new schoolyard of its own, with play spaces, educational spaces, and a bunch of stormwater management infrastructure. Needless to say, the site plan looked like a tremendous upgrade over what had been a large and mostly empty asphalt lot.
Earlier this week, there was an official ribbon cutting at Stanton, marking the conclusion of this project. We went over to the school the other day and snapped some photos as the kids were enjoying their new outdoor space. It looks terrific and the photos really don’t really do it justice.
As we told you before, design for the project came from AK Architecture, Think Green LLC, Durkin Associates, and Playcare. Parent group Stanton Community Partners raised over $100K for the schoolyard project and partnered with PWD, the School District, the William Penn Foundation, and the Trust For Public Land to make this thing happen. The partners at Lincoln Square, the mixed-use development still under construction nearby, also made a sizable donation to the project.
Just to review, a parent group, some non-profits, a collection of City agencies, and some for-profit developers all worked together and this schoolyard is the end result. Not only is this project a huge benefit for the school, but it’s also boon for the neighborhood, which now boasts more strollers than ever. As the kids in those strollers turn into school age kids, we have to imagine that many of them will turn into Stanton students; it’s crazy to think, the School District almost closed this school a few short years ago.