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Deal approved to build new Kensington CAPA

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Students from the youth organizing group Youth United for Change (YUC) cheered a decision by the School Reform Commission October 24 to buy seven acres of land on North Front Street for a long-anticipated new building for Kensington High School.

Kensington was divided into three small high schools in 2005. One of them, Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts (or Kensington CAPA), now housed in the old high school building, will move into the new facility when the $44 million school is completed in 2010.

YUC’s long fight for a new Kensington High School dates back to 2002. A year later, the group presented then-CEO Paul Vallas with a plan for Kensington that involved dividing the school into four small schools.

The project has been slow to move forward, and crowds of YUC members from Kensington had become almost a regular fixture at School Reform Commission meetings in recent months, pressing for action.

“Build it! It got approved – let’s do it,” urged Saeda Washington, a senior at Kensington High School for Business, who testified to the SRC about the need for the new building.