January 15, 2009


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New CHA science building harnesses ‘green’ technology

Chestnut Hill Academy Headmaster Frank Steel last week urged students to be good stewards of their school and the environment at a dedication ceremony for CHA’s new $12.5 million science center. Students cheered as Steel invited them to express school spirit.

From Willow Grove Avenue, Chestnut Hill Academy’s new Rorer Science and Technology Center looks like any other building on campus – down to the Wissahickon Schist. But once you step into its shadow, you begin to see that the 23,000-square-foot structure is teeming with big ideas.

 “I’m really proud of this building … because it’s such a good statement of what we value and what’s important,” CHA Headmaster Frank Steel said at a Jan. 6 dedication ceremony. “Not just to us as a school and what we need for teaching, but it’s a statement about us working with our community and us thinking about our environment.”

Completed this month at a cost of $12.5 million, the Rorer center is a model of energy efficiency and scientific pedagogy. CHA administrators expect the U.S. Green Building Council to certify the center as “gold” under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, making it the first Philadelphia school building to receive that honor.


Key players in library fight reflect on court ruling

As the city’s fight over library closings came to an abrupt end last Monday in court, two of the key players were in Northwest Philadelphia, feeling good about the outcome but concerned by official reaction to the court’s ruling.


New funding for parking lots seen as challenge by CHPF

Chestnut Hill Parking Foundation representatives admitted last week that it would be challenging to implement a new funding system in which local merchants would be assessed a yearly parking fee based on the number of parking stickers they gave to customers in fiscal year 2008, but they said the benefits outweighed the risks.

Local Express: Northwest News Briefs

Mango to move

Mango, the eclectic clothing and gift shop at 8622 Germantown Ave. is moving to 8422 Germantown Ave. — former home of the Village Earth Bead Market — at the end of this month. It has been at its present location for 20 years.

Co-owners Peggy Bertholf and daughter Tara Alexander said they are moving to take advantage of the larger space at the new shop.


¡Cuba! will give all CHCA members $25

Miguel Castañeda

As a part of the Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) membership drive,

Miguel A. Castañeda, owner of ¡Cuba! Restaurant and Gallery has pledged $60,000 in gift certificates for those who join the CHCA or renew their membership in 2009. Families or individuals who join the association or renew their membership in 2009 will receive a $25 gift certificate from the restaurant. 

“Since I’ve had the privilege of serving on the CHCA board, I’ve seen how dedicated the members are to the well being of Chestnut Hill.” Castañeda said. “I strongly believe that membership in the CHCA is a vital component to the continued prosperity of this historic and unique community.” 

Since opening this past May, the restaurant has hosted and participated in  a number of community events, such as West Mount Airy Neighbors’ Annual “Eat your Heart Out,” Philadelphia Cuban Art Society’s “Havana on the Hill” and “Colores Infantiles” an art auction to benefit the children of Philadelphia.