The curious case of William Penn High School just took another turn as the William Penn Development Coalition (WPDC) has filed a lis pendes to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania against the deed of the school complex. According to Philadelinqunecy, this action blocks any future transfer of a property's deed until a pending court matter is settled or concluded. Temple University had purchased the property in June for $15M, the full asking price, and planned to keep the main building as an educational facility run by the Laborers' District Council Education and Training/Apprenticeship Fund. The remaining structures would have been razed to make room for athletic facilities. You may remember that we toured the gargantuan school during its open house in May. Both Temple University and the William Penn Development Coalition had multiple representatives in attendance. For now, it looks like the future of William Penn High School will be tied up in the court system. According to their Facebook Page, the mission of the WPDC is to revive the shuttered high school as an educational facility:
The William Penn Development Coalition proposes a shared vision with the School District of Philadelphia, community stakeholders and private/public partners to establish a new high school complex with STEM-based academies in healthcare and the building trades. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The restored campus would include space for teacher training, a center for community engagement and a repository for the preservation of William Penn High School alumni and historic Yorktown artifacts and memorabilia.
The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) is handling the sales of 20 of the shuttered school buildings in the district's portfolio. Ten schools are currently listed as having a sale "pending" — including the hulking 338,000 sq. ft. Bok Tech — with William Penn High School listed as "under agreement." According to Bill Fox, Director of Property Management at the School District of Philadelphia, the pending sales mean that offers have been submitted to the PIDC and are currently being evaluated. No offers for the ten schools have been submitted to the School Reform Commission and the talks are "very preliminary" at this stage. Meanwhile, who knows if school will even open on time this year.
· William Penn High School Coverage [Curbed Philly]
· William Penn Development Coalition Successfully Blocks Sale of William Penn High School [Philadelinquency]
· Available School District of Philadelphia Properties [phlschoolsales.com]