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.