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April 09, 2015

Former South Philly school to become 'Public Living Room'

Funded by hefty Knight Foundation’s grant, site will become an outdoor, stoop-like space for neighbors to hang out, interact

South Philly Development
BOK Google Maps/for PhillyVoice

Bok School project receives grant to remake grounds as ‘South Philly Stoop’

The site of a shuttered South Philly school will be turned into a “public living room” called the South Philly Stoop. It will include a bus stop, dog park, bike repair shop and more.

The 340,000 square foot project will be at Edward W. Bok Technical High School building at 1901 S. 9th St., which was closed in 2013. It's being funded by a $146,960 grant awarded through the Knight Foundation’s Knight Cities Challenge.

RELATED: Knight Foundation awards 7 grants to Philly organizations

According to the Passyunk Post, which has covered the progression of the project, the public living room model is meant to connect and improve surrounding communities, including bridging the Passyunk and Pennsport neighborhoods.

There will be a series of engagement sessions, to be held in June, where the team developing the Bok School will work with students of Southwark Elementary to determine what the term “living room” means to them and their daily lives, the Post said.

There’s also a plan to have StoryCorps come to South Philly to record the stories of those in the surrounding community.