Philadelphia School District
richmond elementary

Philadelphia district unveils $18 million upgrade of Richmond Elementary

Oct. 12, 2022
Improvements include a separate cafeteria with a full-service kitchen for the first time in the school's 99-year history,

The Philadelphia district has completed an $18 million upgrade of Richmond Elementary School.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the renovated Richmond Elementary has five new classrooms, including a designated art room and computer lab, an upgraded electrical system, a new paint job, LED lighting, and, for the first time in its 99-year history, a separate cafeteria with a full-service kitchen. In the past, a multipurpose room doubled as gym and lunchroom, and no fresh food was made on site because the school had no kitchen.

“I feel like the vibe in the building is definitely very positive, very happy,” said principal Susan Rozanski. “It’s made things so much brighter.”

The upgrades also include the removal of lead paint and abatement of all known asbestos materials; bathroom renovations; masonry repairs and a new fire alarm system.

The district also is about to break ground on a $30 million replacement building for Cassidy Elementary. The new facility will have 20 classrooms, two music rooms, an art room, small group rooms, three special education rooms, and “21st-century learning environments,” district officials said.

The new Cassidy building will replace a structure built in 1924 that has drawn attention for widespread problems, from backed-up sewage and flaking paint to mold and damaged asbestos.

Though Richmond and Cassidy are getting upgrades, significant facilities issues remain districtwide. In 2017, the district estimated it had $4.5 billion in unmet capital needs. 

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