School District Invests $3 Million in New, State-of-the-Art Athletic Complex at Bartram High School
Upgrades to include new synthetic turf field, rubberized track and field and grandstand renovations
PHILADELPHIA — The School District of Philadelphia broke ground on a new, $3 million athletic field complex at Bartram High School that will provide students and community members in southwest Philadelphia a safe, sustainable and upgraded place to play and exercise for years to come.
“We are proud to be able to continue to make investments in our schools, like the one we are celebrating at Bartram today,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “We are making such significant progress — from making major upgrades to athletic facilities and expanding our Career and Technical Education programs, to modernizing early literacy classrooms and transforming our computer labs. We cannot afford to lose this exciting momentum.”
The upgrade, to be completed in 2019, will include a new synthetic turf field; rubberized track and field surface with concrete shot put and discus pads; high jump, pole vault and horizontal jump pit areas; new goalposts; a scoreboard with a wireless public address (PA) system; and a renovation of the grandstand to provide for ADA compliant ramps, walkways, enclosures and aluminum surfacing.
“As both an educator and a former coach, I understand how important athletics can be to students’ development,” said Hite. “In a city with such storied sports traditions, I am proud that our students at Bartram, and others around the city, will have new, state-of-the-art athletic facilities to enjoy.”
Bartram’s current athletic field complex, spanning seven acres, was designed in 1949. Its current features include a natural turf field, cinder track, and steel bleachers, all of which are deteriorated and in serious need of repair.
“This is a great day for the students and families of southwest Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Sports and recreation facilities are essential for children, for they provide a safe environment for play, and foster a sense of self-worth and community. This new and improved athletic complex will not only be a valuable addition to Bartram High School, but to the surrounding community as well.”
In addition, the configuration of the field will allow for more student athletes to use the facility more often. Sports to be played on the field include: football, girls’ and boys’ soccer, girls’ and boys’ lacrosse, and field hockey.
“Playing football at Bartram helped to save my life,” said Principal Damond Warren, a Bartram alumnus. “My number one goal as an educator was to become the head football coach in order to save other young people’s lives. This field will always hold a special place in my heart. Having this new field will help to further revitalize the southwest Philadelphia community and aid in bringing Bartram back as the athletic powerhouse that I know it can be. As the principal of my alma mater this is one of the happiest days of my career!”
Today’s groundbreaking was also attended by state Rep. Maria Donatucci, state Sen. Anthony Williams, and City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and state Rep. Jordan Harris, both Bartram alumni. Student athletes Sybria Deveaux and Tariq “Speedy” Greene also highlighted their excitement around the new athletic complex.