Leveraging Alternative Delivery in Philadelphia

Lessons Learned from Northeast Community Propel Academy

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Pending Acceptance and Subject to Change

Facing strict budget limitations and a time crunch, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) turned to an alternative method to deliver its newest school. The new school was designed to relieve chronic inequity, pronounced overcrowding conditions across five neighboring elementaries, and to address dramatic population forecasts for the city’s growing Northeast community. The turnkey operation, which was the first of its kind for SDP, yielded a new K-8 facility for 1,660 students and established a new standard for modern learning environments in the district. The project’s speed – just 21 months from award of design to opening – and cost assurance were essential in meeting urgent district-wide equity needs. Securing fixed costs and timelines enabled earlier commitment to further, additional projects in historically under-served communities, while limiting the district’s exposure to risk. But the process was not without challenges. Is P3 right for your district? Can it deliver on the promise of next generation learning environments? Join the owner, architect, and builder for a frank conversation about the opportunities and challenges of alternative delivery while also learning more about accommodating next generation learning environments in K-8 facilities. Might a P3 model facilitate realization of your District’s plans for promoting educational equity and inclusion in an affordable manner?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand potential benefits of Private-Public Partnership delivery.
  2. Outline the process implications for districts considering P3 delivery.
  3. Define criteria for a successful P3 experience.
  4. Appreciate the challenges and opportunities associated with designing a large, next generation K-8 facility.

Jennifer Grafton, AIA, Senior Associate / Project Manager, Stantec Architecture, jennifer.grafton@stantec.com
Jennifer is a Senior Associate and Project Manager in the Education practice at Stantec, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jennifer believes successful projects start with a strong collaboration of owner, architect, consultants, and construction professionals, working together to creatively solve problems. As a seasoned project manager, she understands striking a balance between strong leadership and being team player is the key to designing an inspired, budget-conscious, sustainably-minded project.

Mary Lee, ALEP, Educational Facilities Planner, School District of Philadelphia, mlee@philasd.org

Mary is an Educational Facilities Planner for the School District of Philadelphia, the largest school district in Pennsylvania and the 19th largest in the nation with 250 schools and approximately 138,000 students.

Susan Tully, Senior Project Manager, Gilbane Building Construction, stully@GilbaneCo.com
Susan is Senior Project Manager and the Market Leader, K-12 Center of Excellence at Gilbane Building Company.

Jen Perry, jen.perry@stantec.com

Bill Bradley, PhD, AIA, ALEP, LEEDap,  Principal, Stantec 

Track: The Next Experience

What are the emerging trends in society, education, and/or school planning, design, construction, supply, and operation that should be informing our conversation today?

Primary Core Competency
Educational Facility Implementation, Project Management/Project Delivery: Has a working understanding of how the following areas impact the facility program: regulations and policies; project delivery methodologies; scheduling; preventative maintenance; life-cycle planning; and systems commissioning. 


Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX

October 5-9, 2022


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+1 480.391.0840