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Smith Playground certifi ed as Nature Explore Classroom

with help from the US Forest Service

By Nicole Contosta Staff Reporter


he sense of smell, touch and taste often jars our earliest memories.

So too can our bond with na-

ture, said Mary Wagner of US Forest Service. “Do you remem- ber kicking leaves and picking up acorns? And the little fi bers that had fallen from the trees, smell- ing them and thinking ‘this acorn helped create this wondrous tree.’” Wagner’s remarks proved fi t- ting given the setting: the offi cial groundbreaking for the Smith Memorial Playground and Play-

house’s Certifi ed Nature Explore Classroom. There, representatives from Smith, the US Forest Service, the Arbor Day Foundation, Di- mensions Educational Research Foundation, the Community Partnership CDC, the Strawberry Mansion Development Corpora- tion, the Schuylkill Center, Phila- delphia Parks and Rec, the Offi ce of Councilman Curtis Jones and State Rep Donna Bullock gathered Friday, April 2nd

. Small children

waited patiently in the wings for the Nature Explore Classroom to open.

“The new Nature Explore Out- door Classroom at Smith will be

Janice Vaughan Eldridge Bye

In Passing … Janice Vaughan

Reps from Smith Playground, the US Forest Service, the Arbor Day Foundation, State Rep. Bullock and others cut ribbon for its Nature Explore Classroom. PHOTO: N. Contosta

a wonderful new way for us to provide and prioritize opportuni- ties for nature play and learning,” said Meg Wise, Director of Smith. “It will expand our off erings



APRIL 6, 2016

University of the Sciences unveils fi rst phase of its master plan: reconstruction of the former Wilson School site to residents

By Nicole Contosta Staff Reporter


f things go according to plan, construction of a four-fi ve sto- ry mixed-use dorm, classroom

and retail facility at the shuttered Wilson School, 46th

and Woodland

Streets, could start in January of 2017. Transforming the Wilson School site represents the fi rst phase of the University of Sci- ences three-phased master plan. A mix of about 75 people—mostly nearby residents-- gathered to learn more Wednesday, March 30th

. Last week’s meeting repre- sented one of many the university has had with residents, who were invited to join a community en- gagement committee on its mas- ter plan.

Speakers included David Ford, who works for the university’s community and government af- fairs, John Vitali, the university’s vice president of fi nance and ad- ministration, Warren Burke, vice president for development with Campus Apartments and Nick Mansperger, project architect

from the Design Collective. Coun- cilwoman Jannie Blackwell also attended.

“The school is almost 200 years old and has been in the neighbor- hood for more than 100 years,” said Kathleen R. Mayers, the uni- versity’s interim president at the meeting’s off set. Its age refl ects one of the rea- sons why the University of Sci- ences developed a master plan. “We need to do this for accredi- tation,” Vitali explained. “In order to stay licensed with the federal government, there are certain things we have to have up to stan- dards. That includes our academic standards but also our facilities. Our residences are pretty old,” Vitali added.

Revitalizing the 46th - 48th blocks

of Woodland Ave represents an- other key factor. “We’re talking about appearance, safety, cleanli- ness as well as retail off erings,” Vitali explained. “We’ve invited local retailers in the neighborhood and Campus Apartments to talk to us and talk through how we can improve the local look and feel of the street including retail.”

former Alexander Wilson Elementary School, site of planned mixed-use housing for University of the Sciences

Vitali explained that the univer- sity would form a developer/ retailer subcommittee with one community representative. “To jump start retail,” Vitali continued, “we’re taking some vacant space at 4619 Woodland Ave and we’re opening a UPS campus store. We will be relocat- ing our mail and service, copy store there but it will also be open

to the public.” Vitali then provided an overview of the Master Plan’s three phases. “The fi rst phase, which aff ects the

Wilson School site is where we plan to put our new residences and retail for fi rst year students,” Vitali said of the four-fi ve--story building. “This is replacement housing. We have hous- ing that we’re going to close and move to that site.”

continued on page 4

to young children and provide a hands-on introduction for families living in North Philadelphia neigh- borhoods to the important ways that continued on page 2

Eldridge Bye Born: May 21, 1944 Died: April 01, 2016

anice Vaughan Eldridge Bye, 71, of Mullica Hill, passed away on April 1, 2016. Jan was born in Danville, PA and has resided in Gloucester County for 45 years. Jan was a lover of life, family, friends and fun. Always drawn toward sunshine and travel she shared her time in Ocean City, Key West and her beloved family

J continued on page 4


University City Review University City Review O

school music program hosted a free concert downstairs at World Cafe Live Philadelphia.


Cheryl Logan, the School District’s Chief Academic Support Offi cer, said that Robert Coleman, School District Athleti c Director and two of his assistants had been relieved of their duti es.


he criti cally lauded and internati onally acti ve Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers (KYLD) announces four Philadelphia performances of virtuosic dancing that sti rs the soul. KYLD unveils three world premieres born of collaborati on with composer Daniel Rhode, commissioned by the New Music Ensemble of Grand Valley State University.


n a shocking email that was sent 48 hours before April Fool’s Day,


n March 14, Friends Select School’s upper




CRIME/ POLITICS/ OBIT ...............3 NOTES ON MUSIC .......................6 ALMANAC ...............................10 CLASSIFIEDS............................11

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