Approaching 4811 Germantown Ave., there is hardly any sign that a school once occupied the premises but for a broken, outdated announcement board.
Branches litter the yard and driveway, which is considered an improvement for the former Germantown Settlement Charter School that has been vacant for nearly three years.
Inside, staff members from City Invincible Charter School in Camden hunch over thousands of books in a dimly lit room categorizing them into destination piles.
Donation (to neighborhood schools).
Roots of a clean-up effort
Wednesday’s clean-up and donation activities stemmed from a picture that Foundations Inc. director of school services Julie Carroll saw of property owner Ken Weinstein, of Philly Office Retail, standing in front of hundreds of student desks.
Turned out that City Invincible — a K-5 school that strives to get its students engaged in the community — was just approved to operate. As such, it was in need of some materials.
“It feeds right into the school’s mission and we are pleased that these materials are going to kids that need it the most,” said Carroll.
From the Germantown site, the school will also take 300 student desks, 30 filing cabinets, 18 book shelves, more than 3,000 books and eight cafeteria tables along with other office supplies such as binder clips.
New Directions Inc., one of the property’s current tenants, and East Mount Airy Neighbors also received one of the printers that were left behind.
Noah Krey, Philly Office Retail’s director of marketing and leasing, said they are now looking into potential tenants for the five-building, 26,000 square-foot property.
“The strength of our organization is that we have architects and construction companies in-house and we are ready to go,” said Krey. “We challenge the community to provide us with tenants who will be able to fill the space. We can do the rest.”
Krey said the group is willing to do whatever benefits the community most, whether it is another charter school, incubator space, community center or church.