Temple University Purchases William Penn High for $15 Million


The Temple University plans to expand its offerings with the purchase of the former William Penn High School for $15 million. The School District of Philadelphia's School Reform Commission approved the sale of the vacant property on Thursday.

The University officials said that part of the property will be knocked down and converted into athletic fields for Temple's intercollegiate soccer and lacrosse teams; and recreation space for intramural and club sports.    

The school building - facing North Broad Street - will include a job-training academy operated by the Laborers' District Council Education and Training/Apprenticeship Fund. The academy will offer training in construction crafts and common education topics.

Temple president Neil D. Theobald promised to put the sale to good use. Theobald believes that the site will provide students the state-of-the-art recreational and athletic experience.

"Our partnership with the Laborers' District Council Fund furthers Temple's long-standing mission to provide excellent educational opportunities to the community," Theobald said in a statement. "With an LDC job-training academy in the heart of North Philadelphia, many more residents will have convenient access to a range of pathways to success."

The high school adjacent to the university's Main Campus in North Philadelphia was temporarily closed in 2009. It was scheduled to reopen as a career and technical academy for district students. Although the sale guarantees beneficial projects for the community, certain members strongly objected the closure and transaction.

Commissioner Sylvia Simms believes that the community had been cheated. State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas (D., Phila.) was "highly disappointed, troubled, and angry" as a result of the sale, Philly reports.

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