Delaware County projects getting more than $47 million in state redevelopment funding

[Delco Times] Delaware County projects getting more than $47 million in state redevelopment funding

The Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant program released projects approved for state taxpayer funding through mid-November and more than a dozen Delaware County projects are in line for over $47 million.

The RACP is administered by the state Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. Some of the projects are still in the planning phases while others are in pre-construction or construction.

RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, with the goal of having a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and to generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity.

RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.

One of the noteworthy awards will be $2 million for the Upper Darby Community Center.

Upper Darby Mayor Barbarann Keffer said the grant funds for the Community Center will assist the construction costs for the center, which she called the first of its kind in the township, as well as the first LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certified building in Upper Darby.

The center will be located at 7000 Walnut St., where demolition has been completed and construction is slated to begin in 2023. Upper Darby has already received other competitive RACP awards in addition to $1 million in federal Community Project Funding for a green roof secured through the office of U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.

Township officials said the combination of state grant programs and federal funding the township has been able to leverage grant opportunities and hopes to achieve $11 million in investment with only $3 million in local dollars used.

According to the application, it will include construction work to the foundations, framing, millwork, steel work, interior finishes and sitework. Additionally, demolition; stormwater management improvements; hazardous material abatement; utilities; concrete slab, glass; and site remediation will be addressed.

“Community centers offer so many opportunities for neighbors to interact and learn,” said state Sen. Tim Kearney. “Upper Darby Township is a multicultural hub, and I believe this facility will create an atmosphere where neighbors can foster and cultivate relationships with one another. I am happy that I was able to advocate for funding to support this project. Initiatives like this will make the 26th District an even more dynamic space for residents and visitors.”

“Community centers like the Upper Darby Community Center, provide a safe place for neighbors to gather,” said Rep. Gina H. Curry, D-Delaware. “They are proven to help reduce violence and increase community engagement. I am pleased to have partnered with Upper Darby Township and our community to help secure this vital funding and bring this exciting project to fruition. I look forward to continuing to find ways the commonwealth can invest in our community.”

Sun Center Studios

The Sun Center Studios Corp. was awarded the largest grant in the county $10 million, one of only five in the state to receive that level of funding for 2022.

That grant will go for construction of state-of-the-art sound stages and production support office spaces and workshops to create an East Coast production hub for major film and television studios.

In addition, there will be site improvements such as utility connections and upgrades; stormwater management; security; landscaping; hardscaping; excavating; parking, surface and below grade, related to the new soundstages and the overall integrated master plan for the studio and entertainment campus facility.

• Among the other projects receiving funding in Delaware County include Aldan Borough which received $1 million for a borough police administrative building expansion.

The project will expand the existing building, enhance the entrance lobby, and include specific site improvements consisting of expansion of the existing administration/police parking area as well as grading, erosion control, stormwater management, utilities, lighting and landscaping.

• ACCESS Community Center 2 received a $850,000 funding award for a complete, ground-up construction of a community center planned for West Seventh and Booth Streets in Chester. Ground was broken for that project in December 2021 and is the brainchild of Jack Surgent, a Villanova University graduate and CPA, who has created a nonprofit organization to build the $3 million facility, which he hopes will provide a safe place for residents to enjoy.

According to the application brief, RACP funds will focus primarily on construction costs such as earthwork, site utilities, site improvements, steel framing, HVAC installation, handicap accessible features, and other various requirements for the complete buildout and stabilization of the Phase 2 of the redevelopment project. Phase 2 will consist of the complete buildout of the Community Center’s gymnasium, as well as a full park, fencing the property, and a splash park.

The grand opening was held in October.

• The Student Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia received $750,000 to build a day-warming center at 107 Long Lane in Upper Darby for anyone needing services and housing help as well as be a night shelter for at least 30 individuals.

The project site is a three-story building that includes a full renovation to provide a day-use community area and offices on the first floor, sleeping spaces on the second and third floors. The renovation includes new heating, air conditioning, electrical and fire alarm infrastructure as well as new interiors and finishes. New bathrooms will be provided on every floor. The existing elevator will be improved to meet code.

• Delaware County Community College’s Skilled Trades Training Center Southeast Campus at the former Prendergast High School in Upper Darby received $3 million. That project, which was detailed in the Dec. 1, 2022 Daily Times, will establish a workforce-focused $66.5 million campus to provide a region-tailored education and training ecosystem for 2,000 students. It will likely be open in 2025.

• Eastern University in Radnor received $1 million for renovations of athletic facilities. The project scope includes gymnasium additions and renovations, site work, a vehicular bridge, pedestrian walkway and an internal drive connection to athletes.

• Ellis Phase II Wood Timber Office Building in Newtown Township received $1 million in funding to construct the precast parking garage for the new mass timber office building the Ellis Town Center.

• Elwyn Davidson School Transition Program in Middletown received $750,000 to renovate the interior and exterior of the Kevin Duggan Center.

The funding will focus on exterior improvements such as new roofing, windows, doors, and an entrance canopy, as well as extensive interior renovation to upgrade bathroom facilities for ADA compliance, installation of classroom instructional space, and installation of several training program spaces to include an on-campus cafe, school store, independent and supported living space, therapy-services space and administrative-program offices.

• Interboro High School additions and renovations will receive $4 million for replacement of the existing infrastructure including: mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; along with upgrading and repairing the building envelope which planners say will significantly increase energy efficiency.

Funds will help reconfigure existing spaces and construct new core spaces to accommodate increased community use. Security Improvements include an expanded administration offices area with secure entry and cafeteria relocation. The project also includes roof replacement of a failing roof and repairs to the building envelope and window replacement.

The total cost of the proposed project, including construction contingency costs and soft costs, is not to exceed $70.2 million to be paid from future bond issuance according to the district.

• Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital-Medical Science building expansion will receive $605,000 for an ADA ramp and infusion center renovation.

According to the description, the expansion will move into an adjacent office area to add additional bays and a private room. Other spaces include a second patient toilet room; staff toilet; staff lounge; and relocates the soiled holding room. A new ADA compliant accessible ramp will allow wheelchair access into the existing ground floor entrance of the Medical Science Building.

• Neumann University was awarded $1 million toward a hockey rink.

The application states a newly constructed hockey rink will provide economic growth and development for Neumann University and for the greater Delaware County Area. Currently, youth, collegiate, and adult ice hockey, sled hockey, and ice-skating programs are limited by rink availability.

A conceptual design for the project outlines a 94,000 square foot arena, which includes two floors and two ice rinks. Additionally, the design incorporates a large lobby area, 6-8 locker rooms, meeting and classroom spaces, a concessions area, and 1,050 for spectator seating. A new parking area and pedestrian walkways will also be constructed.

• Upper Darby School District will receive $3 million for its new 166,000-square-foot middle school construction in Clifton Heights. The total cost for that project will be over $70 million and include a dedicated parking lot, full-size competition football field, baseball field, little league field, softball field, playground, and walking trail along the perimeter. The new middle school will provide an innovative new learning environment. A core programmatic goal is to introduce a series of flexible and technology-rich spaces to enable the district’s evolving curriculum, the district said.

“We are excited about the approval of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and the potential impact of this funding on our school districts’ comprehensive facilities improvement plan,” said Dr. Daniel McGarry, superintendent. “I know Representative Zabel, Representative Curry, and Senator Kearney helped to secure this funding for the district. The potential $3 million dollars in RACP funding will help the district move forward with the much-needed Clifton Heights Middle School Project, which will provide a new, modern middle school for our students and help to ease overcrowding in our middle schools.”

• The Philadelphia Union received a $4 million grant for its new $55 million WSFS Bank Sportsplex Keystone Sports and Entertainment facility next to Subaru Stadium in Chester.

It will include outdoor fields, including three full size fields, three full sized turf fields, and a youth grass field all with outdoor lighting; a fieldhouse with full size, multi-purpose turf field with lobby and cafe; academy operations: mixed-use space that will include locker rooms, offices, and leasing space; two full-sized basketball courts: basketball and volleyball programs as well as other indoor activities such as pickleball, futsal and field hockey; and a performance center: performance strength and conditioning training area and sprinting track. It requires extensive site work, concrete, masonry, and steel work.

• Riddle Hospital Emergency Department and ICU expansion will receive $6 million, which is part of an over $300 million expansion going on at the hospital.


The Emergency Department renovation will increase the waiting room capacity and improve patient and visitor observation. A new triage space composed of two bays will be created in the internal disposition area. It will renovate the existing staff lounge with toilet, lockers, and kitchenette, and include a control room and CT support space for staff. The ICU will be completely reconstructed and modernized with new mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure.

• Silvercare Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Chester will receive a $1.5 million grant. The project will renovate space at the former Community Hospital of Chester. It will include selective demolition and remediation, metal stud and drywall set up, glass replacement, MEP work, water heater replacement, security system installation, sprinkler and fire alarm system upgrade, nurse call installation, painting, ceiling repair, lighting upgrade, flooring, parking lot repair, exterior lighting upgrade, commercial kitchen and laundry renovation.

• The William Penn School District will receive $7 million towards their facilities master plan for school renovations. The projects recommended include three schools Bell Avenue, East Lansdowne and W.B. Evans Elementary and the Kerr Field sports complex. The school’s windows need to be replaced, ADA ramps and elevator; upgrades to HVAC & lighting.

The Kerr Field project entails demolition of existing facilities; site work and stormwater management; new running track and markings; synthetic turf vase and drainage and carpet system; athletic field lighting; grandstands; parking lot; fencing and site improvements; baseball and softball fields reorientation; locker room and field house.

Speaking about the latest round of RACP funding, Zabel praised the funding coming into the county.

“Grant funding at this scale is a game changer for projects that were in need of additional funding and is the latest example of tax dollars being reinvested to strengthen our community,” he said. “It’s rewarding when state funds are utilized to fund projects that will directly benefit every resident of Delaware County.”

Source: Delco Times