City breaks ground on local elementary school

Solis-Cohen Elementary School, a $50 million project, is expected to educate thousands of kids in 2020.

A fresh start: Officials broke ground last week on a new Solis-Cohen Elementary School, at Tyson Avenue and Horrocks Street. Superintendent Dr. William Hite told the Times, “It actually would cost twice as much [to repair structural problems in the current school] as it would just to build a new building.” LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

Mayor Kenney, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite and others broke ground last week on a new Solis-Cohen Elementary School, at Tyson Avenue and Horrocks Street.

The $50 million building will use modernized architecture to prioritize health, sustainability and learning for its students.

“Across the city, the District’s capital needs are directly connected to the educational needs of our children,” Kenney said. “We need to support both if we’re going to build on our schools’ recent progress.”

The 14,000-square-foot school will teach over 1,800 kindergarten through fifth-grade students at the start of the 2020–2021 school year. Each grade will occupy a wing of the two-story building.

LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

Modern amenities will include a “grand learning staircase” in the heart of the building and an open cafetorium. It will feature energy-efficient equipment and lighting, as well as a green roof and stormwater management system. It has received a $2 million Alternative and Clean Energy Program grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

“A student should succeed because of their environment, not in spite of it,” Kenney said.

It will also feature landscaping and outdoor play areas, as well as a drop-off area to make transportation easier for parents.

“It actually would cost twice as much [to repair structural problems in the current school] as it would just to build a new building,” Hite told the Times.

Rebuilding Solis-Cohen has long been a priority of Councilman Bobby Henon.

“As our neighborhoods grow, we’re going to make sure it’s our responsibility to prepare you for that success,” he said to the students in attendance. ••