For more than four decades, Community College of Philadelphia has been at the nexus of economic development, community development, education reform and social change in our city. We play an important role in these contexts through the broad range of programs and services that we provide across the many communities that make up Philadelphia.
One of the factors that permits us to serve our communities in a comprehensive fashion is the high quality of our physical resources—the facilities that make up our four permanent campuses. With the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s recent approval of the College’s two expansion projects, we have the opportunity to enhance our ability to serve students, strengthen and expand instructional resources and improve the rate of student success.
Our $57 million dollar building project will create a new dining pavilion at our Main Campus complex and will also add new and expanded instructional space. The current cafeteria area will subsequently be converted to a “one-stop” student services center and, again, will be accompanied by new and expanded instructional space. At our Northeast Regional Center, we shall construct a second building, which will accommodate new degree programs, create a smaller version of the “one-stop” student services center and add much needed, technology rich space.
To fund these new endeavors, the College is turning to both public and private sources, and the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation is planning to launch its first ever capital campaign. To date, the College has already received approval from the state for 50 percent funding of the required $57 million. In addition, the House-approved federal budget, still awaiting final Senate approval, includes a small amount of funding designated for the Northeast Regional Center expansion. We anticipate seeking additional federal support in each of the next three years.
On the College Foundation’s part, the Board of Directors has already authorized a planning study to be undertaken in November and December that will test the College and Foundation’s capacity to raise additional dollars toward the $57 million expansion costs. An external consulting firm will interview select members of the Foundation and Trustee boards, CEOs and senior executives in the business community, community leaders, private foundations, current and potential donors and College faculty and staff.
The planning study will gauge the breadth of understanding about our College and our mission, the strength of our case for support and the interest in and level of financial support for the capital campaign. With the help of this study, we hope to identify a specific target amount that the Foundation will raise toward the required $57 million.
Our students are our future. We believe an investment in their future is an investment in the future of Philadelphia.