Beam by steel beam, the structure of the William A. Graham IV OPC ‘58 Athletics & Wellness Center is rising at William Penn Charter School. The floor of two new competition basketball courts — 900 tons of cement — was poured in November, and the placement of the highest steel beam was celebrated on January 8. Remarkably in these most challenging of times, the construction progress is steady, dependable and promising.
A crane moved the final beam across the winter sky. Builders from INTECH secured the beam in place, marking the topping out of the building. The tree represents that the building has reached its apogee and the flag represents appreciation for and pride of the construction team. Also in keeping with tradition in topping off ceremonies, the construction crew was treated to box lunches.
While students, faculty and alumni could not attend on campus because of the pandemic, many watched the construction camera livestream to mark the milestone.
The Graham Center is on schedule to open at the end of the summer, in time for the new school year and eight years after the unveiling of a Strategic Vision for the future of William Penn Charter School.
“Penn Charter is riding a wave of momentum,” said Head of School Darryl J. Ford, “and we are not done yet.”
In a virtual meeting this fall with donors to the How Far? capital campaign, the fundraising effort to support the Strategic Vision and the campus transformation that evolved from it, Ford announced that the How Far? campaign has surpassed its initial target: On a goal of $75 million, the campaign has now raised $92 million.
Ford announced a new goal: $125 million to complete the two facilities projects central to the transformation of Penn Charter’s campus – the Graham Center and a new lower school. “One-hundred and twenty-five million is a lot.” Ford acknowledged. “Yet, who knew how far we could see when we started this campaign? We saw far, far past our initial goals.”
Gifts to the How Far? campaign have supported reimagining the curriculum and innovations that include a Teaching & Learning Center for faculty professional development; IdeaLabs with 3D printers and laser cutters, and coding for kindergarteners; as well as significant increases in financial aid; support for faculty; and much more.
To learn more about Penn Charter’s vision for the future, visit penncharter.com/vision.