Northeast Times

Framing a new addition to Frankford Friends School

The Frank­ford Friends School an­nex at Ox­ford near Griscom is un­der con­struc­tion, Monday, May 21, 2012, Phil­adelphia, Pa. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

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There’s steel up at Or­tho­dox and Griscom streets. It’s hard to miss what will be­come of the Frank­ford Friends School’s new build­ing.

The ex­pan­sion had been in the works for a while, but con­struc­tion fi­nally began this year and it’s ex­pec­ted to be com­pleted in time for the 2012-13 school year, Amy Sil­ver O’Leary, the school’s dir­ect­or of de­vel­op­ment and alumni re­la­tions, said Fri­day.

“It’s right on sched­ule,” she said.

The new steel was go­ing up early this month as the stone of a more than cen­tury-old church was com­ing down across Or­tho­dox Street. What was the Frank­ford Group Min­istry’s church is now a va­cant lot. The more than cen­tury-old struc­ture was crum­bling and had to be de­mol­ished.

In Septem­ber, ground was broken for the Friends School ad­di­tion, which will house three classrooms, a mu­sic room and a mul­tipur­pose room that will be used for gym classes and com­munity meet­ings. The school is ad­ja­cent to the cur­rent Friends cam­pus, which dates back to 1833.

En­roll­ment was ex­pec­ted to rise with the ex­tra space, and it has already, said Joe Ho­hen­stein, the clerk of the Frank­ford Friends meet­ing, a job equi­val­ent to school board pres­id­ent.

The new build­ing has been de­signed to use in­ex­pens­ive tech­niques to keep en­ergy use down, Sil­ver O’Leary said.

For ex­ample, a large north-fa­cing sky­light in the mul­tipur­pose room will cut light­ing costs. Sol­ar shades will block sun­shine in sum­mer but bounce the light deeply in­to rooms dur­ing winter. Rain bar­rels will keep wa­ter out of the city’s storm wa­ter sys­tem and provide free wa­ter for the school’s classrooms and gar­dens. ••

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You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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