The design combines a variety of educational, play and social spaces into the schoolyard experience.

The James G. Blaine School

The Blaine School (a pre-K through 8th grade public school), enlisted the help of the volunteer based Community Design Collaborative (CDC) and the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), to transform its austere schoolyard space into an outdoor learning and play environment. Ground Reconsidered, the CDC pro-bono firm volunteer, worked closely with Blaine’s principal, students and task force committee, on a six-month information gathering, analysis and design process. The resulting conceptual design combines a variety of educational, play and social spaces into the schoolyard experience as well as environmentally enhancing the site through the incorporation of vegetated conveyance swales, a prominent and engaging rain garden, stormwater planters and supplemental subsurface storage. The design includes flexibility to manage both on-site and off-site runoff and allows PWD to bank over two ‘greened acres’ by preventing 24,139 gallons of stormwater from entering the sewer system. The plan was enthusiastically received and funding for implementation is currently being sought.

  • Philadelphia Water Department
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • 2015