The Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School is a one-of-a-kind school founded in 2002 by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - Union 98. The school prepares its students for future career paths either by attendance at a two- or four-year college, apprenticeships at IBEW Local 98, direct employment, or a combination of the above. The current school of 600 students is relocating to the former United Way building located at 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia which contains eight stories and a full basement area. The building was designed and completed in 1971 by the Philadelphia architecture firm Mitchell / Giurgola Associates and is listed on the city’s register of historic buildings. The new school will function as a safe, code-compliant, state-of-the-art facility that will embody the mission and spirit of the Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School.
Blackney Hayes worked initially with the school to try and help them determine if prospective buildings could be a potential new home for the school. In total, 5 different buildings were studied. Blackney Hayes helped to develop the school’s list of programmatic needs and then would test fit the program into the prospective buildings. Due to the historic nature of the selected building, this project was an interior renovation of the historic Philadelphia high-rise. Some key programmatic elements in the building include a fitness center, broadcasting room, cafeteria with a warming kitchen, faculty collaboration areas including a rooftop lounge, 32 classrooms, a life skills classroom, and labs for biology, chemistry, and maker space.