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A group of people standing in a gymnasium, cutting a red ribbon.
Photo credit: Pilar Carroll/OZ Collaborative.

Recreation Center reopens in Harrowgate

As a part of Philadelphia’s goals of supporting its communities, the Heitzman Recreation Center was selected for renovation to invest in the area.

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Celebrating the opening of the new Heitzman Recreation Center located in the Harrowgate community of Philadelphia, community members, city officials, and Mayor Jim Kenney came together to officially cut the ribbon on the new building.

“The City and our partners were proud to work alongside the Harrowgate community to realize a significant renovation at Heitzman Recreation Center,” said Mayor Kenney in a statement.

Located on a 3-acre site on Castor Avenue, the Center's $4.3 million renovations and improvements were enacted through the City's Rebuild program, which is funded through the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.

The program seeks to invest into recreation centers, libraries, and neighborhood parks across the city, focusing on sites in communities that face high rates of poverty, health risks, and drug crimes, alongside areas that can promote community stabilization.

Leading the project was Impact Services, a nonprofit dedicated to community improvement through opening pathways for career development, increasing affordable housing, and developing the areas around the community.

Kira Strong, Rebuild's Executive Director, sees the program's main goal as being to "provide safe and modern spaces for our communities," which would let the community of Harrowgate use it to learn, grow closer together, and enjoy the facility for leisure and play.

“Heitzman was the first Rebuild site selected in my District, so I am thrilled to cut the ribbon today with my colleague, Councilmember Driscoll, who will take the reins on representing this newly renovated facility,” said 1st District Councilmember Mark Squilla.

Casey O'Donnell, the CEO of Impact Services, holds that they see "no better investment than safe play spaces for our kids" and seeks to continue their work across the city.

Renovations include new playgrounds, new fitness equipment, refurbished indoor basketball courts and new outdoor basketball courts, roof repairs, and a renovation of the gymnasium.

“The investment Rebuild is making in our parks and recreation centers is critical. Renovations at sites like Heitzman bring more community members together. We’re very excited to welcome the Harrowgate community back to a new, improved Heitzman Recreation Center,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.

The design team hired by Rebuild included architectural firm OZ Collaborative, civil engineers Rodriguez Consulting, mechanical engineers SRW, and landscape architects Ground Reconsidered.

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