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Philadelphia School Closures Throw Hamels Foundation a Curve Ball

Philadelphia School District
Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Among the 37 schools on the Philadelphia School District’s closure list (see related story) are several that received big grants from Phillies’ pitcher Cole Hamels’ foundation.

There’s a new state-of-the-art playground at Taylor Elementary School in Hunting Park, for instance.  The $300,000 facility was built over the summer by the Hamels Foundation (see related story).

But now Taylor Elementary — and Shaw Middle School, which got $50,000 of Hamels Foundation money for a new library (see related story) — are among the 37 school buildings the school district plans to close in June.

The Hamels Foundation has issued a statement saying it is “disappointed” to learn of the closing plan, and that while its goal of supporting education in the community will not change, a January meeting with the district will help the foundation in discerning its direction in the future.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard acknowledges that the school closing plan consists of difficult choices.  He says the district is grateful to the Hamels Foundation, and will talk with them about possibly moving the playground equipment to another school.

“We will work with the foundation to see where they think it’s best, in their opinion, where they think it would be best, for relocation of the equipment if that is necessary,” Gallard tells KYW Newsradio.