Philadelphia Inquirer: Charter will be moving facilities to Chester

Charter will be moving facilities to Chester
By Caitlin McCabe, Philadelphia Inquirer
July 21, 2015
Original Article

CHESTER An Aston Township-based charter school dedicated to the arts says it is moving its facilities to Chester to better serve its students, many of whom live in the city.

The Chester Charter School for the Arts on Monday announced the purchase of an 11-acre site from the Chester Housing Authority. The school would open there in September 2017.

The land, which straddles 12th Street and Township Line Road on Highland Avenue, was purchased for $2.3 million.

The tract has sat untouched after a public-housing development was demolished nearly a decade ago. The Chester Housing Authority, which manages about 20 percent of the city’s rental properties, said that other offers had been made for the land but that the housing provider waited for a bid that could best “support the city’s ongoing recovery.”

Chester, along the Delaware River, is one of the region’s most impoverished cities, with a poverty level of about 30 percent.

“We could not think of a more appropriate and positive addition to the neighborhood,” said Steven Fischer, executive director of the authority, in a statement.

The charter school, founded in 2012 by Swarthmore College professor John Alston, integrates content and skills from the arts — including dance, music, theater and the visual arts — with core subjects. The school currently has 325 students. In its new location, the school will eventually serve 625 in K-12 classes.

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