| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Development News

Major improvements coming to Manayunk's Venice Island Rec Center

Although it was once an economically booming section of Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood, the thin strip of land known as Venice Island, which sits between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River, is today something of a desolate place. And yet according to representatives from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Manayunk Development Corporation (MDC), things are about to change on Venice Island, thanks to a $45 million improvement project that is being paid for by the PWD, and that will transform the now-crumbling Venice Island Recreation Center into a place where creativity, the arts, and good old fashioned child's play will be taken very seriously.

According to Kay Sykora of Destination Schuylkill River, the project to improve and partially remake the recreation center came about due to the fact that "the Water Department is (federally) mandated to rectify a situation which currently allows sewage to get dumped into the river. So they're building a tank." But as Sykora explains, "the community wasn't wildly enthusiastic about having a (sewage) tank," and so the two organizations began discussing ways in which the PWD could contribute to the community. A vastly improved recreation center was the compromise they settled on.

A 250-seat performing arts theater will likely be the jewel of the island's new recreation center, which will also house a multi-purpose recreation building where community meetings and after-school events for children will be held. The area will also house athletic fields; a kid's spray pool; small stations that will educate visitors about rainwater recycling; an all-green pumping station; and a 25,000-square-foot park that's being designed by the Manayunk-based Andropogon, an ecological landscape architecture firm. "All of this," says Sykora, "because we'll have a tank."

The project is expected to break ground this July.

Source: Kay Sykora, Destination Schuylkill River
Writer: Dan Eldridge

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a cool new house being built in the neighborhood? Please send your Development News tips here.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts