Kenney on a roll after city council advances Rebuild

Pat Loeb
May 23, 2018 - 9:07 am
Mayor Jim Kenney at Olney Rec Center

Pat Loeb | KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA  (KYW Newsradio) -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced Tuesday that Olney Rec Center will be the second facility the city will tackle in the half-billion-dollar Rebuild project. 

"The purpose of this whole program, this project, is equity," Kenney said. "We want to make sure that we bring fairness and equity to every neighborhood when it comes to facilities. Our kids deserve exactly what the suburbs get and even more, and we’re going to make sure that they get it."

Mayor Kenney’s audience at Olney included dozens of kids in the rec center’s after-school program who were happy to hear that help is coming for the aging facility.

Kids in attendance said the center needs "a little fix-up," "some more swings and stuff," repairs to the gym floor, sprinklers and new paint in the park.

The announcement came the day after city council — after months of delay — advanced Rebuild legislation. Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, an advocate for the bill, extolled its provisions for a diverse workforce. 

"That has never been institutionalized legislatively via a public works project," Parker said. "It is unprecedented and it is historic, and I want you to know we are excited. The apprenticeships, the boot camp, the paid on-the-job training opportunities — there will be a pathway for men and women of color to union membership."

The city hopes to start work this summer, but most of the funding relies on the state Supreme Court upholding the beverage tax, which would pay the debt service on a bond issue.