Point Breeze community continuing to fight for Smith School

The Smith School at 19th and Wharton was one of the schools put up for sale in 2013, along with Vare in Pennsport and the now-transformed Bok.

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Since the school’s closure, nearby residents have been fighting to get it back as an educational institution instead of becoming a development site for Concordia Group. 

From Philly.com:

The Save Smith School group wants the district to withdraw its appeal, remove Smith from the sale, and reopen it.

Resident Haley Dervinis said the group’s members will show up at every School Reform Commission meeting until the district takes Smith off the chopping block. “We want this to be a school,” she said, adding that Point Breeze is attractive to developers building market-rate housing in a predominantly working-class African American community.

“It’s going to be a long, hard fight,” said Dervinis, who is white.

A district spokesman said Friday that officials could not comment because the matter is in litigation. Efforts to reach William Collins, an owner of Concordia, were unsuccessful.

5 thoughts on “Point Breeze community continuing to fight for Smith School

  • October 31, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I’d be more sympathetic to these community groups if they had a reasonable alternative for these proposals. The school district isn’t going to reopen a school because 30 people in a neighborhood want it back up and running.

    Their intent is obvious. They are anti gentrification. They are anti any development. So if you are really friends of this school, try hiding under a different umbrella than being flat out against white people moving into your neighborhood and go to the school board instead of trying to crap on investors.

    • November 1, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Sean, I’ve lived in the area and I doubt that being “against white people moving into the neighborhood ” has anything to do with it.

      • November 1, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        Mark, I live in PB too. That’s all it has to do with. They are clearly anti-gentrification, per Wiki – “Gentrification is a process of renovation and revival of deteriorated urban neighborhoods by means of influx of more affluent residents” afluent residents aka- white people. They don’t want affluent people(white and Asian) people in their neighborhood because it becomes safer, property value increases and taxes increase and rents rise as well.

        • November 2, 2016 at 6:29 am

          what level of cognitive dissonance does it take to say that people don’t want their neighborhood to become safer?

          • November 2, 2016 at 9:42 am

            the nimby level?

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