Three plans presented for new Chester Arthur Elementary schoolyard

Chester Arthur Elementary School at 2000 Catharine St. is in the process of planning a new schoolyard.

Photo of the schoolyard from Naked Philly.

Three plans were presented last week by SALT Design Studio, but it’s not too late to participate if you weren’t able to attend the meeting. You can still vote and give feedback on your favorite plans for this new space for the school.

So what are the schoolyard concepts?

Concept a: “This scheme features a series of connected multi-purpose rooms, inspired by the school courtyard gardens along Catharine and Webster Streets.  A community gateway on 21st Street provides a new entrance to the schoolyard through the southern half of the site. Outdoor rooms offer distinct zones for recreation, learning, and stormwater management. The school parking lot is reconfigured with an entrance on 21st and exit on Catharine Street. Its location provides safe, efficient circulation and allows for stormwater to be captured in rain gardens and throughout the schoolyard.”


Concept b: “This scheme utilizes the existing parking lot and transforms the remaining schoolyard with a large, flowing landscape berm and outdoor amphitheater. Functioning as a play element, a stormwater infiltration area, and an outdoor learning and performance space, the “learning curve” creates a lively and dynamic forum for education and recreation. A community gateway is located along Catharine Street, with additional pick-up/drop-off access on Webster Street near the southwest corner of the school building. The existing parking lot is redesigned to manage stormwater through bioswales, and to provide a green and shady buffer with increased tree canopy.”


Concept c: “A curving landscape element begins at the community gateway at the corner of 21st and Catherine, and traverses the length of the schoolyard.  This stream-like spine organizes the schoolyard with a focus on water, with pods for outdoor learning, recreational courts and nature-play.  This scheme activates the length of the schoolyard, and offers a meandering, playful cut-through for community members walking in the neighborhood. Reconfiguring the parking along Webster Street opens up access at the 21st and Catherine Street corner. Additional pedestrian access is located on Webster Street in close proximity to the school building for pick-up/drop-off.”
chester-arthur-3You can give feedback on the plans for the schoolyard here.