AEC Cares to Refresh the Athletic Recreation Center in May

May 3, 2016 | From our Friends

On May 18th the Athletic Recreation Center in Sharswood is getting an extreme makeover thanks to AEC Cares, a joint effort of CMD, AIA National and Hanley Wood Media and local partners AIA Philadelphia, the Community Design Collaborative, and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. Over the course of one day (yes, one day!) over 100 volunteers from around the country will renovate the Athletic Recreation Center’s main lobby, after-school art room, performance space, costume room, and kitchen.

The “blitz build” will benefit children who participate in after-school programs at the Athletic Recreation Center. Improvements will include painting, installing new ceiling tiles, cabinets, mirrors in the dance room, a runway for fashion shows, and more. While the actual build will happen on May 18th, a project management team of four architects, one interior designer, and one contractor led by the Community Design Collaborative has been working with the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation since February to prepare for the blitz build.

Heidi Segall Levy, Director of Design Services at the Community Design Collaborative and project manager explains that “Leading the design effort for the AEC Cares Philadelphia project fits perfectly with the Collaborative’s mission to strengthen neighborhoods through design and to create engaging volunteer opportunities for local design professionals. We and our volunteers are excited to help bring positive change to this community in such a short period of time and in a truly collaborative way!”

This is the sixth year that CMD is hosting the AEC Cares Annual Build day in an effort to raise awareness and provide community support for worthwhile projects across the United States. Tune in via Twitter for live coverage of the blitz build using #projectPhiladelphia on May 18th!


AIA Philadelphia's involvement with the AEC Cares "blitz build" day is one part of a three part Legacy Project. In conjunction with the AIA National Convention every year, local host chapters typically create a Legacy Project for their City, with the intention that all of the energy and creativity of the AIA Community that surrounds convention should not dissipate after the Convention is over – it should leave a lasting impact, a legacy.

For the 2000 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia, AIA Philadelphia along with General Building Contractor Association and many of our allied members created the Charter High School of Architecture and Design.  Undoubtedly, CHAD is the best and most sustainable legacy of an AIA local chapter to date.  So, we have big shoes to fill in 2016…so we are doing 3 legacy projects! All of these projects build upon the service and commitment of our members

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