Cephas announces $2.25M RACP project grants for West Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, Dec. 29 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today announced three Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grants totaling $2.25 million for projects in the 192nd Legislative District.

The projects include expanding wellness and recreational services, classroom accessibility and safety, and constructing affordable housing for seniors. Here is a breakdown of the funding for each project, with a brief description of how the funding will help:

  • $1 million will go toward expanding various community-centric health and recreation services at the Overbrook Pharmacy Wellness Center. The project includes demolishing the existing crumbing structure to construct a center. The center's plans include required spaces for exam rooms, staff offices, and other requirements such as providing a separate entrance to the wellness center and responding to patient privacy issues. In addition, a public venue area will be added that could be offered for educational sessions, event rental, or a vertical interior agriculture center.

  • $750,000 will go toward bolstering safety and accessibility, especially shelter-in-place areas for pupils living with disabilities at Overbrook School for the Blind. The project includes making the main entry safe and accessible for an increasingly non-ambulatory student population, sufficient to suppress an active-shooter scenario and the installation of an elevator for multiple wheelchairs and to provide a publicly accessible and secure entrance. The funding will also allow non-ambulatory students to use front entry and access second floor classrooms and integrates with a second floor shelter-in-place area for safety during evacuation. Additional ramps at the front entrance will allow for rapid egress, and additional accessible routes for the auditorium will allow for the rapid/safe movement of students.

  • $500,000 for the new construction of a four-story building containing 55 affordable and environmentally sustainable housing units for seniors at 65th and Lansdowne streets.

“I’m proud to see this funding being used to make these necessary improvements to ensure the wellbeing of residents and students in our community,” Cephas said. “Access to housing for our seniors and a neighborhood hub that provides wellness and recreational opportunities at the Overbook Pharmacy Wellness Center is integral for sustaining a thriving community; likewise, pupils living with disabilities attending the Overbook School for the Blind will be able to better access areas of the building in a timely and safe fashion.”

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of a Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.