New Construction Plan at Powel Elementary and SLA Middle School

Samuel Powel Elementary School

Science Leadership Academy Middle School

Budget: $33.5 million

The new K-8 school is approximately 87,000 square feet with a capacity of 720 students. The building will be the new home for students from Powel Elementary School and Science Leadership Academy Middle School. The construction is in its final phase and anticipated to be complete by the end of November 2020. Furniture, equipment, and IT installation will be finished during December to make the building ready for occupancy in January 2021.

Project Updates:

  • Construction has restarted, and we anticipate completion by the end of November 2020.


Design Progress:
Construction Progress:

Spring 2019

Project Start


Project Duration

Winter 2020

Project Completion

$33.5 million

Project Budget

Groundbreaking Ceremony

The School District of Philadelphia and Drexel University held a ceremonial groundbreaking on Monday, December 9 for a building that will house two public schools in West Philadelphia. The School District of Philadelphia will lease the building from Drexel and the facility will house both the Samuel Powel Elementary School and the Science Leadership Academy Middle School (SLAMS).


In May 2019, Drexel University entered into an agreement with developer Wexford Science and Technology for the development of the 87,000-square-foot, two-story building. The $40 million school project is funded through a combination of private and public funding secured by Drexel, including the School District of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and New Markets Tax Credits, aided by generous contributions from the Lenfest Foundation, PECOWexford and Ventas, a leading real estate investment trust.

Powel / SLAMS