Breadcrumbs

New Lower School

With $135 million in gifts from generous parents and caregivers, faculty and staff, OPCs and many other friends, our community’s commitment to a vibrant Penn Charter has taken us far. How far? We have now reached another milestone. We are making way for our new Richard A. Balderston OPC '69 Lower School. That’s How Far!

This webpage is meant to help students, parents and caregivers, faculty and staff, and all other campus visitors understand how traffic, pedestrian egress and parking will be affected in the area surrounding the construction site as well as other areas of the school. The page will also provide progress updates and other emerging project information.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please email us at newlowerschool@penncharter.com. 

Note: All information on this page is subject to change.

Project Update (4/2/24)

Penn Charter’s vision of a cohesive Academic Village is a significant step closer to reality. On March 25, 2024, a commercial building permit for the construction of the future Richard A. Balderston OPC ‘69 Lower School was issued by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, satisfying the final requirement in the permit process and allowing the next stage of construction to begin. During April and May 2024, work will be focused on the new lower school’s foundations, the elevator pit, and underground conduits. The opening of the new lower school is anticipated by fall 2025.

Campus Access

Parking

Construction Information

  • Construction hours will be 7 am to 3:30 pm.

  • Construction traffic will be kept to a minimum during drop-off and pick-up hours.

  • In adherence with school policies, contractors will have required clearances.

  • Contractors are expected to follow all campus guidelines and policies.

Aerial Site Map

Renderings (as of July 2023)

Construction Progress (as of October 5, 2023)

Blue Playground demolition. August 2, 2023.

Dooney Field House demolition. August 2, 2023

August 9, 2023

August 9, 2023

August 9, 2023

August 10, 2023

August 10, 2023

August 10, 2023

August 17, 2023

August 17, 2023

August 17, 2023

August 31, 2023

August 31, 2023

August 31, 2023

September 6, 2023

September 6, 2023

September 27, 2023

September 28, 2023

September 28, 2023

September 30, 2023

October 4, 2023

October 4, 2023

About the New Lower School

Penn Charter's new lower school will reshape learning for our youngest learners and unite pre-K to 12 students in a vibrant academic community. The school will be designed to reflect PC's curriculum and what research tells us about the way children learn and grow. Through the school's ample learning and playing spaces, students will be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a complex world.

Highlights of the New Lower School

  • 80,000-square feet of interior space for pre-K to 5 students
  • Outdoor learning and community spaces; all classrooms on the first floor will have classroom access to outdoor playgrounds 
  • Outdoor classrooms on second-floor rooftops
  • A library with more than 2,500 square feet of working space along with a glass classroom, an outside patio, and a reading nook

  • A "Friendship Hall" outside the library to offer a flexible space for student activities, displays of student work, parent/caregiver gatherings, and more

  • A health suite with ample space for student care and a dedicated bathroom

  • A "Discovery Room" for students to engage in active indoor play and projects

  • An "Activities Room" that includes a stage for performances and more, a large drop down screen and projector for assembly activities, and technology for classroom activities  

  • An Idea Lab

  • And more!