Community discusses how to use Germantown High after its closing
4/22/2013 | Real Estate Blog
One of 23 schools set to close at the end of this school year as part of the Philadelphia School District’s plan to consolidate its facilities, community leaders, lawmakers, real estate experts and citizens are all putting in their two cents on the issue of how to put the property to use. Built in 1914, Germantown High covers almost an entire block.
Because it is so big, finding a reuse for the building will be a challenge. That was the conclusion reached by a six-person forum organized by AxisPhilly.org. Panel members discussed a number of possibilities for the property during a recent meeting with the public, but the majority of suggestions involve keeping the property in use as an educational facility.
One suggestion involved making the building into a retirement facility, but some say the conversion costs would make that possibility unfeasible, at least according to the president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, Allan Domb. In Domb’s opinion, the best use for Germantown would be a “corporate” high school model, under which major companies with a large local presence would create high schools to teach skills necessary to work in their company and industry. Graduates would be offered jobs inside those companies. Another suggestion was to make the property into a community college.
It was also suggested that the city and state should offer businesses tax credits and abatements to help out with any building conversion costs. Whatever the eventual use of the facility, it is hoped that a plan forms soon so as to restore vitality to the neighborhood after the school’s closing.
Source: NBC10 Philadelphia, “Education Top Recommended Reuse for Closing Germantown High,” Vince Lattanzio, April 20, 2013