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VI Joins AEC Cares in Renovating the Athletic Recreation Center in Philadelphia

May 2016

The Vinyl Institute will join about 150 volunteers and industry professionals for the sixth annual AEC Cares: Project Philadelphia. This year’s community project takes place on May 18.

Building a Better Community

AEC Cares, which precedes the 2016 AIA National Convention, is about linking architecture and construction professionals to the communities where we live and work. This year, AEC cares is working with Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate the Athletic Recreation Center, creating a more useful, inviting space to better serve the Sharswood neighborhood.

The center, which caters to underserved youth and adults, is in serious need of a facelift. It requested AEC Cares help with the renovation of the lobby, upgrade of the performing arts auditorium, overhaul of the kitchen, and upgrade of the multipurpose space. As demonstrated in past AEC Cares projects, vinyl applications are of great use for their durability, safety, and ease of maintenance.

Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center and the Sharswood Community

The Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center was built in 1912. Over a century later, the center is still in use six days and evenings a week. It offers a variety of activities for children and adults, including boxing, basketball, arts, drama, and dance. The center also serves as a community meeting space for Sharswood.

This year’s AEC Care blitz build will make a difference in the lives and futures of the young people and adults in the Sharswood community. Sharwood is a small neighborhood in North Philadelphia. The community’s poverty rate has increased eight percent since 2000, and the average household income is $11,500/year. Forty-five percent of the community is under age 18.