Paul Stadelberger, CEO of New Foundations Charter School, last week told members of the Holmesburg Civic Association that the school finally has purchased a building to accommodate a high school expansion.
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade attend classes in the main building at Torresdale Avenue and Rhawn Street.
New Foundations added a high school two years ago. The freshmen and sophomores attend classes in the building that houses Franklin Towne Charter High School, located in the Arsenal Business Center, at 5301 Tacony St.
The recently purchased three-story building, at 4850 Rhawn St., houses Eureka Metal & Glass on the first floor. That company will eventually vacate the property.
Interior construction will start in a couple of weeks, and Stadelberger believes the high school classrooms will be ready to be occupied “Decemberish.”
Next year’s freshmen will remain on the Torresdale and Rhawn campus until the new building is ready.
As for two buildings attached to the three-story property, one will be knocked down and replaced by a gymnasium and the other will be demolished to make way for an auditorium.
Some neighbors complained that parents double-park and create problems at the start and end of the school day. Stadelberger said he has had little success persuading parents to avoid double-parking.
“I get cursed at,” he said.
Meanwhile, New Foundations raised $7,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Eastern Pennsylvania through a “Pennies for Patients” drive. Caroline Page, the charity’s local director, accepted a check last week during a formal presentation with students and faculty.
In other news from the April 10 meeting:
• The organization observed a moment of silence for Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeney, the two Philadelphia firefighters killed on duty on April 9.
• The civic group voted 17-1 in favor of a bid by Liberty Bell Bicycles to build an addition that will be used as a repair area and showroom space.
The shop has been located at 7741 Frankford Ave. for the last five years after four decades across the street, next to the firehouse.
The business needs approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment and asked the group to back its effort to bypass a requirement to landscape the perimeter of the property. Such extensive landscaping would be costly and cut down the number of parking spots and the area used to test-ride new and repaired bikes.
• Lisa Deeley, an aide to City Councilman Bobby Henon, spoke about his Bad Neighbor Initiative. The initiative targets maintenance issues and illegal activity that cause property values to drop, quality of neighborhoods to decline and community morale to fade.
Henon wants residents to report property maintenance problems to 311 and illegal activity to 911. Landlords or residents that need help to comply with the law can call his office at 215-686-3444 or the Department of Licenses and Inspections at 215-686-8686.
Meanwhile, Henon is developing a CityHall App that will allow users to submit service request cases from their iPhone and other devices. A second version, to be released later, will function on Android devices. Residents and business owners can send along pictures and information about issues such as graffiti, potholes, absentee landlords and bad neighbors.
Deeley announced that Henon will open a district office in a couple of weeks at 6730 Torresdale Ave. Hours will be weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Instead of going all the way down to City Hall, you can stop in and see a staff person,” Deeley said.
More information is available at www.bobbyhenon.com
• Joe Nicoletti, president of the Tacony/Holmesburg Town Watch, asked people to turn on the lights on their front and back porches at night as a way to discourage crime, including tire-slashing.
“A well-lit street can do wonders in deterring crime,” he said.
Nicoletti said area problems include the thefts of propane tanks from gas grills and the appearance of prostitutes along Frankford Avenue from Stanwood Street to Welsh Road. He said one of the ladies told him she has HIV.
The group will meet on Thursday, May 10, at 7 p.m., at Tacony Baptist Church, at Disston and Hegerman streets. Personnel from the 15th Police District will be in attendance.
To join the group or report crime, go to www.tactw.org
• State Rep. Kevin Boyle (D-172nd dist.) explained that the Pennsylvania Department of Health will not consider issuing a permit for a proposed methadone clinic at Frankford Avenue and Decatur Street as long as the matter is in litigation.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment last month revoked permits granted by the city Department of Licenses and Inspections to the operator of the planned clinic.
The operator of the clinic appealed that decision to Common Pleas Court.
On other issues, Boyle said he has spoken to Gov. Tom Corbett about his bill that would require employees of institutions to report cases of sexual abuse to law enforcement and not merely follow an in-house chain of command. The legislator acted after the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal.
Boyle believes a measure similar to his will be included in a package of bills that will be unveiled in the summer in response to the scandal.
• The civic association will have a table at this Saturday’s flea market at New Foundations Charter School. The group is looking for donations of new or gently used items to be sold. Items can be dropped off at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Rhawn and Ditman streets, this Friday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, May 8, at 7:15 p.m., at Holmesburg Recreation Center. The guest will be Louis Giorla,.commissioner of the prison system. ••EndFragment