New Mayfair school won’t be in Lincoln’s “front yard,” Henon says

Councilman Bobby Henon told the Mayfair Civic Association he will introduce a bill to ensure new school will not be built in front of Lincoln High School.

Sixth District Councilman Bobby Henon. FILE PHOTO

Sixth District City Councilman Bobby Henon is planning to introduce a bill in the coming days to make sure Mayfair’s newest elementary school is not built in front of Lincoln High School

Henon told residents about the move at the Nov. 19 Mayfair Civic Association meeting. The land around Lincoln is deed-restricted for recreational use and athletic fields, meaning the School District needs permission to build the new Ryan Avenue school, he said.

“Mayfair and myself, we did not want the school to be on the front yard of Lincoln High School,” Henon said. “I’m here tonight to say it’s not going on the front yard.”

Multiple community meetings have been held in recent months to discuss the new K-8 school, and residents have often said they do not want the building constructed in front of the high school at Ryan and Rowland avenues.

Henon’s legislation will be taking advantage of a recently discovered deed restriction put in place in 1951 — several years before the old Lincoln High School opened.

“They can’t build a school without having relief from that deed,” he said.

The bill, which is expected to be introduced Nov. 29, would release the restriction on the area behind Lincoln while the land in front of the high school would remain protected.

Athletic fields that are currently behind Lincoln may need to be moved to the front yard area, Henon said. The councilman believes residents should look at the area as an “educational campus.”

“We should be thinking of it potentially being in the future like a supersite for athletics, which means more money is going to go into our fields,” Henon said.

The new school, which will serve about 1,660 students, is being constructed in response to overcrowding at nearby facilities, especially Mayfair Elementary School. Kindergarteners and first-graders from Mayfair Elementary have been sent to an early learning center at Austin Meehan Middle School due to the lack of space.

The School District sent out a request for proposal, or RFP, in September for preliminary designs for the new school. Henon said the district is in the process of reviewing the applications.

District officials have previously stated that Meehan will be demolished, although Henon said tearing down the middle school was not part of the RFP.

In other news:

  • Marc Collazzo, of the Mayfair Business Improvement District, said his organization recently hired a private security guard to patrol Frankford Avenue on bicycle from 2 to 5 p.m. on weekdays. “They are there as a deterrent and also to call law enforcement if they see anything,” Collazzo told residents at the MCA meeting.
  • MCA members voted 11-0 to not oppose an application for a duplex at an existing residential property at 3406 Tudor St. The owner, Mae Kubek, has agreed to sell the property contingent on zoning approval for the duplex.
  • Mayfair’s Christmas village and tree lighting event will take place Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Cottman and Frankford. It will feature vendors, live music, Santa and a Toys for Tots drop-off center. The Philadelphia Police Explorers will light the tree at dusk.
  • The MCA’s next regular meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Mayfair Community Center, one week later than normal due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Check www.mayfaircivicassociation.com or the MCA’s Facebook page for potential special zoning meetings before then. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at jtomczuk@newspapermediagroup.com