South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center unveiled earlier this week

In 2013 we first told you about the plans for the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center, a combination Children’s Hospital and Free Library facility at Broad and Morris.


That $45.2 million, 96,000 sq. ft. facility has now officially been unveiled.

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Parents can take their kids to the third-floor pediatric clinic and then visit the primary-care center a floor down for their own health needs. A branch library will soon open at ground level, with a special section where patients can learn more about their health issues. The new recreation center will open next month, providing exercise as a foundation for healthy living.

The $45.2 million, 96,000- square-foot building at the southwest corner of Broad and Morris Streets grew from an unusual public-private partnership that was celebrated Monday.

Combining “health care, literacy, and recreation” is “a real breakthrough” for the low-income, heavily immigrant community the center will serve, said Madeline Bell, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who joined Mayor Kenney in the still-empty library. Upstairs, the hospital’s blue, orange, and green clinic was seeing some of what are expected will be more than 35,000 patient visits a year.