(Photo by J. Smith for Visit Philadelphia)
A chunk of Philly’s libraries, rec centers and pools are getting a revamp, and certain nonprofits can help.
The City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation department’s $500 million renovation project, Rebuild, recently issued a call for interest to businesses and nonprofits working in community engagement or design and construction that are interested in lending their expertise over the next several years.
Last August, Rebuild’s leaders at the city asked for applications from nonprofit partners that could serve as “project users” — that is, organizations that would be expected to manage most Rebuild projects. This time around, Rebuild is looking to source professionals who can offer their services to those project users to actually get the projects done.
While architects, contractors and others in the design and construction field will be hired to execute building projects, engagement pros will “work with Project Users to conduct outreach to residents and create meaningful opportunities for community members to have a role in the process of determining what improvements are made to their facility,” said Gould.
For nonprofits, that could mean, say, CDCs or business corridor management orgs being tapped to host a public meeting where new design and construction plans are discussed with a local library’s community members.
This push to include community engagement professionals means Rebuild’s managers are sticking to their word of centering equity and inclusion throughout the process.
“Rebuild also expects Project Users to continue to provide support to the facilities they work on after projects are completed,” wrote Rebuild’s deputy director of community engagement and communications, David Gould, in an email. “However, what specific role they play will vary on a site by site basis.”
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Rebuild has two major organizational needs:
- Design and construction — Seeking the services of suppliers, contractors, architects, designers, professional service firms, etc.
- Community engagement — Seeking services of artists, community organizations, project managers, cultural organizations, etc.
Information submitted in the forms — which have no deadlines — will be entered into a directory for program users to use when searching for project partners.-30-
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