Ben Franklin and Science Leadership Academy students return to campus Tuesday

Katherine Scott Image
Monday, February 17, 2020
Franklin High School
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Franklin High School campus to reopen Tuesday after renovations and asbestos removal

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Students from Ben Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy will head back to class on Tuesday at their shared campus in Spring Garden.

The students have been attending classes off-site since October after the building was shut down for asbestos concerns amid ongoing construction.

The School District of Philadelphia announced that the 900 students will be returning to a $37 million revitalized campus.

Renovations include new heating and cooling systems, LED lighting throughout the building, and a new cafeteria.

Environmental work, including asbestos removal, was also completed.

The District reported that more than 120 environmental tests have been conducted over the last two weeks. Results deemed the campus cleared for re-occupancy.

Just last week, two more schools temporarily closed due to damaged asbestos.

Last week, the teachers union, elected officials, and students, renewed their call to demand Governor Tom Wolf declare a State of Emergency in Philadelphia schools and release rainy day funds for immediate abatement of asbestos.

As for Wolf, he proposed approving $1 billion in state funding to schools throughout the state for asbestos and lead remediation, but it's not certain he will have sufficient support for approval.