Relive the Excitement of Our Parkway Building Celebration


Friends Select recently unveiled our Parkway Building's dynamic new learning spaces in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration, as part of the Advance Friends Select: Transformation Campaign. Speakers included Friends Select head of school Michael Gary, board of trustees clerk Ingrid Lakey ’89, P’27, student body leaders Margot Schneider ’22 and Nadia Sumner ’22, and Councilmember Helen Gym, with special guest, city representative Sheila Hess.

With renovations completed in time for the 2021-22 school year, the first floor transformation:

• Creates four new lower school classrooms.
• Creates a new lower school art studio.

• Provides a significantly larger, updated lobby space at the front entrance of the building to offer an inviting space for the community to gather.
• Creates a front office suite for the head of school and admission department, as well as an admission lobby to welcome prospective students and their families.
• Enhances the school’s accessibility and overall visibility. 
• Creates facilities that mirror and support the high quality programs we offer to students.

First Floor Transformation

First Floor Transformation

Ribbon-Cutting Celebration

Parkway Building Ribbon-Cutting Celebration

Parkway Building Open House

Parkway Building Open House for Friends Select Families

"Giving out of conviction requires taking a leap of faith to support what you believe in. I believe in the impact that the Advance Friends Select: Transformation Campaign and these new learning spaces will have on generations of Friends Select students."

Liz Widdicombe P’18, ’22

Pictured are Liz with her children and brothers in front of the Race Street Meetinghouse. Left to right: Toby, Denis ’18, Fred Tubula ’18 (rear), Annie (front), Liz, Stefan ’22, and Gerry. Fred was a Friends Select international student from Kenya and has resided with the Widdicombe family since attending the school.

1520 Race Street Expansion

The purchase of 1520 Race Street, an historic brick townhouse, will add much needed space for upper school classrooms. Located adjacent to the Race Street Meetinghouse and Friends Center—the home of the Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, one of the two governing bodies of Friends Select School—the expansion to 1520 Race Street will strengthen Friends Select’s long-standing partnership with this local and global Quaker hub. With renovations projected to be complete prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year, the expansion to 1520 Race Street will:

• Provide three floors of space for three modern science laboratories, three art and design studios, and four additional upper school classrooms.
• Create student gathering space, meeting spaces for students and faculty, and upper school administrative offices.
• Sustain our commitment to Quaker values and social justice while also providing opportunities that elevate the student voice and agency for change.
• Expand Friends Select’s campus in Center City, and allow us to further our ability to leverage external partnerships to meet teaching and learning goals. 
• Renovate a registered historic property while preserving the building’s facade and historic integrity.
• Create much needed lower and middle school classrooms in our building at 17th and the Parkway.



The purchase of the 1520 Race Street Building, as well as the revitalization of our current Parkway Building, support our vision of a school that—through its role and reputation as a renowned Center City institution—strengthens cross-cultural connections and reach through academic programming, global experiences, and leverages reciprocal partnerships to enhance educational, financial, and facility goals. 

For more information about supporting the Advance Friends Select: Transformation Campaign, please contact Christine Jefferson, chief development officer, at, or 215.561.5900, x3141.