Groundbreaking happening this week for Chester Arthur School’s planned STEM playground

If you visit the Chester Arthur School at 2000 Catharine St., you’ll catch a glimpse of the school’s current outdoor space. While there is an already-existing play area, some basketball hoops and a few garden beds, the large majority of the space is asphalt.

13403353_1346513598697055_8888986253022055208_oThe playground is about to be transformed into a first of its kind STEM outdoor play and learning lab. A groundbreaking ceremony is being held on Wednesday, June 15 to begin the work on creating a more interactive and fun outdoor space for the K-8 school.

We’ve been following Chester Arthur’s progress on this project for some time now, beginning with the three plans that were originally presented for the space in October. Since then, they have selected a plan and secured funding to make this play space a reality.


Improvements to the schoolyard will include outdoor classroom space, a 50 meter track, a sundial, art installations, rain gardens, a climbing and physics zone, more greenery, along with plenty of other improvements. As you can see on the renderings, there’s a lot planned that will enhance this from a lackluster playground to an interactive learning and play space.


In addition to money they’ve raised, including $55,000 at a recent fundraising event, there are a number of backers for the project, including the William Penn Foundation, The School District of Philadelphia, the Water Department and others.

These improvements are expected to be completed by the time school begins in the fall.

One thought on “Groundbreaking happening this week for Chester Arthur School’s planned STEM playground

  • June 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Any time “people parks” get their long overdue attention in the way of upgrades, its a good thing. In this case, a first of its kind STEM learning lab! Awesome! Somewhere, Neil DeGrasse Tyson is smiling!

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