PlanPhilly

Green Woods Charter School opens $13.5 million Roxborough location

What had been a brownfield site in Roxborough will begin its new life as a campus devoted to environmental education this week.

The ribbon-cutting for the Green Woods Charter School is scheduled for this morning, and the school's initial class of 465 students will pass through the doors of the new steel, stone and glass building on Tuesday morning.

The cost projection for the three-story, 60,000-square-foot building on the 400 block of Domino Lane was $13.5 million, and Green Woods CEO Jean Wallace said it will "come in at or very close to our budget."

"The amazing part of all this was that so many people doubted that construction would come in on time," Wallace said. "We went from demolition to occupation in just 13 months. It was a remarkable job by BSI Construction and our entire team."

Construction challenges

The projected opening date when work began in the fall of 2012 had been September 2013. But Roxborough's geology — lots of rocks and ledges — slowed construction, and the opening was pushed back to January.

Over the past month, "the weather was a challenge," Wallace said. "Our landscape and construction team did a phenomenal job of working around and in the elements as best they could." The outdoor educational areas and planting projects will be completed in the spring, with the participation of the students, she added.

    • Green Woods Charter School, shown here while still under construction in August, will welcome students starting Tuesday morning. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)
      Green Woods Charter School, shown here while still under construction in August, will welcome students starting Tuesday morning. (Bas Slabbers/for NewsWorks, file)

About the author

Alan Jaffe, Historic preservation reporter

ajaffe@planphilly.com

B.A., Temple University

Alan Jaffe writes about historic preservation issues for PlanPhilly and focuses on often overlooked built landscapes in his column, “Look Up!” He
was a writer and editor in the newspaper industry for nearly 30 years, including eight at the Philadelphia Inquirer and nine at the South Jersey Courier-Post. He is currently the director of communications for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He is also an antiques writer and collector and the author of “J. Chein & Co.: A Collector’s Guide to an American Toymaker.”


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