Construction on the $66-million facility is set to begin at the beginning of the year. The school is slated to open in 2011. But things are already turning around for West Philadelphia's students and faculty.
They're calling it the miracle on 48th street. Saliyah Cruz, the latest principal at West Philadelphia High School, is changing its hard core reputation by changing the culture here.
A few years ago it was known as the district's most out of control building; it was a hardcore nightmare with fights, fires and gangs roaming the hallways.
15 principals were cycled through here in 10 years now after 2 years at the helm the new no nonsense principal and an overhauled staff have snuffed out much of the anarchy by getting the chronic trouble makers shipped out.
You can feel the difference just standing in the hallway between classes. A veteran security man who lived through the old days says the turnaround is so evident.
Senior Brandon Reyes admits he was once one of the trouble makers but now deeply appreciates the changes.