University to use new property for athletic fields

Shortly after being closed by the School Reform Commission, the former William Penn High School was sold to Temple University for the SRC’s asking price of $15 million. Part of the property, located on N. Broad Street, will be demolished and converted partly into an athletic facility and recreation space.

According to a university statement, the field space will be designated for the soccer and lacrosse teams, a welcome change for the soccer team, which currently travels to the Ambler campus for home games. The remaining space will be used for university intramural and club sports.

The school building itself will remain and be changed into a job-training academy organized by laborer’s union and buying partners the Laborer’s District Council Education and Training/Apprenticeship Fund.

The 4-1 SRC approval of the sale closed any community hope that William Penn would be reopened after being “temporarily” closed in 2009. At the time of closing, then superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman told community members the school would reinvent itself into a career and technical academy for William Penn students in the time of five years.

-E.J. Smith