Drexel is bringing a new community center to 35th and Spring Garden streets through a gift from alumni Dana Dornsife and her husband David.
The aim of the Dana and David Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships is to create a place for organizations and community members from the Powelton Village, Mantua and Mill Creek sections of West Philadelphia to converge.
The building will bring academic programs, adult programs, an art gallery and health screenings into the neighborhoods. Drexel plans to use its engineers to educate community members on installing more energy efficient windows.
Powelton resident Norma McClean said she thinks the center will be an asset and wants to see certain programs created.
“Programs that involve men for boys, especially, to have mentors. They don’t have very many men for mentors that they can look up to,” said McClean.
Local group DB4 will use the building to help reach their goal of solving community problems in Mantua. DB4 was recently featured by Flying Kite Media, a roaming community-building organization which sought to plant a more permanent community group in the area. Finally, it seems Flying Kite is seeing its dream realized.
Ultimately, both Drexel and the Dornsifes would like to see a more unified relationship between the university and surrounding communities.
McClean agreed. “I go to church down the street; I live over there, but… especially with all the building [happening] in the area, I think there’s a sense of community coming into the neighborhood now.”