Parkwood Civic OKs MaST III on Boulevard

MaST will be buying the Crown Holdings (formerly Crown Cork & Seal) building, 12345 Roosevelt Blvd., with plans to open MaST III.

The Parkwood Civic Association met last week at Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast Regional Center to consider three issues.

MaST Community Charter School’s Isaac Newton Foundation will be buying the Crown Holdings (formerly Crown Cork & Seal) building, 12345 Roosevelt Blvd., with plans to open MaST III.

The original MaST is a kindergarten to 12th-grade school for 1,363 kids at 1800 Byberry Road.

MaST II is in the former St. William school in Lawncrest. There are 500 kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. MaST II will move to a new building at 6501 New State Road in September 2019. It’ll open for kindergarten through sixth grade, along with ninth grade, with the projection that it become a K-12 school. MaST might keep its St. William location even after the move.

MaST III was approved by the School Reform Commission in February. MaST wanted to open with 2,600 students at Crown Holdings, which will be moving to Bucks County by the end of the year. Its One Crown Way address is also expected to be eliminated.

The SRC, though, approved MaST for only 1,300 students.

And, in a blow to Northeast parents hoping for a better chance in MaST’s lottery system, the SRC demanded an increase in diversity. Specifically, at least half of MaST III’s seats must be reserved for children living in the following four ZIP codes: 19120, 19124, 19140 and 19141, which are in the Olney, Frankford, Logan and North Philadelphia areas.

MaST III will open in September 2019 with 900 students in K-8.

MaST CEO John Swoyer noted there are more than 9,000 applications from parents wanting to enroll their kids in a MaST school.

“We’d be able to fill this school, day one, 11 times over,” he said of MaST III, which will eventually be a K-12 school.

Normandy Civic Association members were also invited to the meeting, which included remarks by MaST lawyer Steve Pollock.

Pollock described the Crown building as 238,000 square feet. There is a traffic light at the Boulevard entrance, along with an exit at McNulty Road. The site has more than 520 parking spots. A cafeteria already exists. The property sits on 41 acres.

“The building is in pristine condition, internally,” Swoyer said.

Also on site is Lannett, a manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. Lannett uses two floors of one of the buildings for corporate offices for 180 employees. Lannett, a New York Stock Exchange Company, just began the second year of a three-year lease.

Residents approved MaST III in a show of hands.

In other news from the Aug. 13 meeting:

• Zoning consultant Tom Citro spoke on behalf of Concentra, a national health care company with a location at 2800–02 Southampton Road. Concentra signed a five-year lease in 2016 and has a doctor and physical therapists on site. The office is open weekdays. Residents approved a request to perform interior work.

• Residents also approved a request by Fitness By Erica, which opened in February, to continue operating. The center, at 12285 McNulty Road, Suite 103, has a hearing next month in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. ••