Philly Rebuild Program Renovates Glavin Recreation Center & Playground

Rebuild ProgramImage via City of Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PAPhiladelphia Mayor Kenney, City officials, and community members celebrated the opening of the newly renovated Glavin Recreation Center and Playground in Port Richmond on Thursday. The improvements were made possible by the City’s Rebuild program, Philadelphia’s historic investment in public spaces.

This project was developed in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society through Rebuild’s Project User Model. After more than $3 million in renovations, the playground and rec center are now ready to welcome community members of all ages.

“I’m so proud of the work that Rebuild and our partners were able to accomplish at Glavin Playground,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.  “Port Richmond now has a beautiful new place to play, learn and grow for decades to come.”

“I am proud to participate in another significant milestone ribbon cutting for Rebuild: the $3 million dollar renovation of Glavin playground that will provide a state -of -the art rec center and related outdoor amenities for the community for many years to come,” said Councilmember Michael Driscoll (6th District).

In addition to the critical improvements completed at Glavin, Rebuild’s commitment to equity and inclusion on all of its projects exceeded expectations on this site. With Torrado Construction, an MBE construction firm, serving as General Contractor – Rebuild revealed that 52% of dollars spent went to MBE firms and 15% went to WBE firms totaling an exciting 67% diverse contract participation rate.

“Rebuild’s main priority is to provide safe and modern spaces for our communities where they can learn, grow and play. Philadelphia’s children and youth are our city’s future, and we need to invest in their wellbeing and development. Sites like Glavin should be the norm, not an exception, and that’s what Rebuild is striving towards with the help of our community members,” said Kira Strong, Rebuild Executive Director.

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“Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is thrilled to have been chosen to facilitate the community outreach and re-design of Glavin Park. This crucial public space represents the needs and desires of Port Richmond’s families and we are elated to be able to bring their vision to life,” said Tom Morris, Director of Public Gardens and Landscapes for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

Totaling $3 million in investment, the project updates include:

  • Renovated recreation center with new interior finishes
  • New HVAC system
  • New fire alarms and safety systems
  • New windows with security screens
  • New bathrooms
  • Updated lighting and new doors
  • Modernized furniture
  • New sprayground
  • Freshly paved sidewalks
  • Outdoor site lighting
  • New basketball court benches
  • New park benches
  • New exterior seating

In addition to these investments, Glavin Playground is now the home of a new mini-pitch as part of the Rebuild’s partnership with the Philadelphia Union Foundation and Eastern PA Youth Soccer to build 15 mini-pitches across Philadelphia.

“It’s our mission to grow the game of soccer, and it’s our privilege to work with the City and the Philadelphia Union to build these mini-pitches,” said Chris Branscome, CEO of Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. “The children of this community, and those of our future sites, deserve to have well maintained and safe places to play on. This pitch will provide for great fun, fitness and friendships.”

“We know soccer can help change lives, and that change starts by ensuring kids have safe places to play the sport,” said Paul Howard, Executive Director, Philadelphia Union Foundation. “Along with our dedicated partners, we are providing access to soccer for more kids across Philadelphia than ever before.”

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Glavin Playground is known to the Port Richmond community as “A&W.” This site was named after Frank Glavin, who worked with the Department of Recreation. He helped create programs for children and adults with special needs. The updates to this site are designed to help continue Glavin’s work by providing an inviting community space for children and adults to prosper.

“The investment Rebuild is making in our parks and recreation centers is critical. Renovations at sites like Glavin mean we can serve more young people, and show community members that the city is investing in them and the places they love to go. We’re very excited to welcome Port Richmond back to a new, improved Glavin Playground!” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Parks & Recreation Commissioner.

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