Dobbins Unveils “Extreme School Makeover”
$39 million investment improves classrooms, builds new CTE labs, replaces several critical building systems, and more
PHILADELPHIA – The School District of Philadelphia today celebrated the unveiling of $39 million in renovations at Murrell Dobbins Career and Technical Education (CTE) High School as part of the school’s “Extreme School Makeover.” Dr. William R. Hite, superintendent, was joined by Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, other elected officials, Principal Dr. Toni Damon, and students, staff members, parents and alumni to celebrate the ribbon-cutting in the barbering suite.
The group then toured several renovated spaces, including those hosting the graphics and digital communications, culinary, fashion and music programs, in addition to the library.
“Today’s ribbon-cutting represents our continued commitment to providing quality CTE programs and experiences for students, in addition to modernized learning environments, no matter where they live or attend school,” said Dr. Hite. “This significant investment will help students as they prepare to be successful in college or career, no matter what field they choose. We are proud to be able to offer these opportunities to our students and look forward to seeing them succeed.”
The project, which began in 2017, involved the renovation and/or creation of spaces housing all of the school’s CTE programs, including: Barbering, Biotechnology, Building and Property Maintenance, Business Administration, Computer Systems Networking, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Fashion, Graphic Art and Sports Marketing. Renovations spanned from the basement through the sixth floor, touching all academic, administrative and CTE spaces.
Improvements also included classroom upgrades with new lighting, paint and furniture; the relocation of the main office; upgrades to the science labs and the art room; a new sprinkler system and elevator; and boiler and temperature control replacement.
All students enrolled at Dobbins are enrolled in a CTE program beginning in 10th grade. Data shows that students enrolled in CTE programs have higher attendance, graduation and college matriculation rates.