Campaign History

In 2012, the Board of Trustees of SCH Academy established an ambitious and comprehensive, multiphase, multiyear redesign of the school’s 62-acre campus, including new construction, facility renovation, redistribution of the academic divisions, and improved traffic flow and parking. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy has been working with WRT Design, located in Philadelphia, to imagine the campus as a whole and the structures on it. The Board of Trustees, along with WRT, considered many options for the school to best share existing facilities and create new ones to serve the combined community.

The redesign of our campus is occurring in several phases, all supported by our fundraising efforts through the multiphase Capital Campaign.

List of 3 items.

  • Phase I: Common Ground, Completed 2014

    Unified and enhanced campus green space, pathways and athletic fields.
    • installation of two all-weather fields (turf)
    • significant stormwater management
    • brick and bluestone walkways connecting the Willow Grove and Cherokee campuses and all of the new athletic facilities
    • seven tennis courts
    • Middle School baseball field
    • refurbished Pearson Field with dugouts
    • softball field with dugouts
    • landscaping, including the planting of over 100 native trees
    • new track
    • construction of the Francis P. Steel ’77 Sports Pavilion
    • refurbishment of Talbot Field
    • new scoreboards
    • metal fencing
    • reconstructed parking lot
    • construction of Maguire Stadium on Landreth Field with locker rooms, storage, and bathroom facilities
  • Phase II: McCausland Lower School & Commons, Completed 2019

    Phase II: 
    Construct new academic facility for Lower Schools.
    • 72,000 square feet
    • 11 boy’s classrooms
    • 11 girl’s classrooms
    • 2 music classrooms
    • 3 flex spaces for CEL and collaborative work including a video and sound production studio and an imagineering lab
    • A multipurpose gym
    • A dedicated language classroom
    • In the spirit of the Wissahickon Inn, a grand entrance hallway with a welcoming fireplace
    • Playscapes and a small amphitheatre made from natural materials that encourage the imagination and connect students with the surrounding environment
    • Two science labs incorporating state-of-the-art equipment
    • A library
    • A large community space that overlooks the SCH woods
    • a cafeteria that enforces the school’s commitment to sustainability by supporting waste reduction and recycling

    New Middle School entrance with light filled gathering area that includes renovations to the school store and cafeteria

    Reconfigured bus loop to streamline traffic flow and ease congestion during pick-up and drop-off times.

    New 115-space parking lot, between Lower School and Middle School, will serve faculty and guests of both divisions

    Continuation of brick and bluestone walkways connecting the Vare Field House, athletic facilities, and academic buildings
  • Phase III: Wissahickon Inn & Rec

    Phase III: 
    Make sound, structural, and programmatic improvements in ”The Rec” Performing Arts Center. Update and enhance learning spaces in the Wissahickon Inn.

Campus Master Plan Timeline

The Rec 

Built in 1884 as a livery stable to accommodate the horses of the guests of the Wissahickon Inn (also built in 1884), this building is situated at the junction of Springfield Avenue and Valley Green Road. In 1901, the building was converted into a recreation building (The Rec) and the deed to the property was given to the school in 
1940, which housed the Wissahickon Badminton Club in 1945. In 1953, there was a partial collapse of the structure and although it was still used for badminton, the school used it for little else.

Beginning in the 1930s, the school had been looking for a dedicated performing arts space and for a time, plays were performed in the current Commons after the floor was installed over the swimming pool. As the program grew, performances took place in the neighboring gym. After a capital campaign failed to raise enough money to build a new performing arts center on campus, the recreation building was identified as a great space to renovate with the funds that had been raised. 

Construction on the Rec began in the summer of 1973, with help from the students, and it was completely refurbished and converted into the performing arts center. It opened on January 17, 1974, with a Players production of The Fantasticks.

As the third and final phase of the school’s 2012 Campus Master Plan, renovations to the Rec will support SCH’s rich history of the arts. This transformation of the Rec will create a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance all areas of our performing arts program from pre-kindergarten through Upper School.

For more information or questions, please contact Jenny McHugh, Director of Development at 215-247-7161.
Mailing Address: 500 West Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Main Reception: 215-247-4700    |   Campus Security: 267-246-8427
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Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) is an independent school offering a rigorous college preparatory program that delivers an unparalleled academic experience.
The school’s unique model is distinguished by single-sex education for the lower grades (Pre-K through 8) followed by a coed Upper School.