Out of the woods and into the neighborhood for Green Woods Charter

A whirlwind of a year is about to begin for the Green Woods Charter School, as it begins its year-long stay in Manayunk.

Green Woods is spending this school year at the former St. John the Baptist and St. Mary of the Assumption school buildings, as deep in a rowhouse neighborhood as they formerly were in the woods of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. 

The school was founded at the Schuylkill Center in 2002 but outgrew that space and moved out at the end of the last school year. With a charter expansion approved allowing them to grow to 675 students, Green Woods is building a new campus in Roxborough, on the site of the former Keenan’s Valley View Inn on Domino Lane.

The school completed its purchase of the site at 346 Domino Lane on June 30 and has spent the summer setting up new classrooms, reworking some of the spaces within the two old buildings and getting its hands dirty in its new neighborhood, volunteering at park cleanups and other community events.

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Meanwhile, the school’s next incarnation is already in the works, said CEO Jean Wallace.

“The fence is up, demolition will begin as soon as PECO turns off the utilities. We hope to have a groundbreaking event later in September,” she said.

The school completed its sale of the Domino Lane property on June 30 and is moving forward with its plans for a new 60,000 square-foot building on a 5.5-acre wooded campus that backs up to Paoli Avenue and Silverwood Street. Partnerships with everyone from the Friends of the Schuylkill to the Academy of Natural Science will let students continue with science and nature-based learning.

And their relationship with the Schuylkill Center continues, as the school will keep its after-school program there, Wallace said.

The school will hold a Back-to-School Open House, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.

NewsWorks has partnered with independent news gatherer PlanPhilly to provide regular, in-depth, timely coverage of planning, zoning and development news. Contact Amy Z. Quinn at azquinn@planphilly.com.

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