Volunteers worked with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center.

Philadelphia Community Center Beneficiary of 2016 Blitz Build Project

Every spring, thousands of architects and designers converge in a different city at the annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention.

And, every year since 2011, a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation called AEC Cares brings manufacturers, sponsors and volunteers together to donate time and materials to a “blitz build” project that helps the host community.

Sprucing up an inner-city neighborhood

Philadelphia was the destination in 2016, and the renovation project was the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center.

Volunteers worked with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to renovate the inner-city center and create a more useful, inviting space to better serve the Sharswood neighborhood in North Philadelphia.

Used by hundreds of children for after school and sports programs, the 104-year-old recreation center building was in desperate need of repair and upgrades.

The 2016 “blitz build” project included a lobby renovation, complete kitchen overhaul and upgrades of the performing arts auditorium and multipurpose space.

Donated premium coatings

Paint for the project was donated by the Sherwin-Williams Company. Both the lobby and auditorium were coated with Paint Shield®, the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint.

Paint Shield kills greater than 99.9 percent of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis) and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on the painted surface. Available in 550 colors, it is ideal for healthcare facilities, athletic facilities, schools, day care centers, senior care communities, residential housing, hospitality settings and cruise ships.

Looks great, kills bacteria on painted surfaces

Mark Hagopian, a Sherwin-Williams division sales manager, suggested the use of Paint Shield when he learned of the project.

“When we explained to them what Paint Shield could do, that was the attraction,” he says.

For Sandra Ho of AEC Cares, the specification of the new Sherwin-Williams coating provided a very important value-added benefit.

Not to mention that the available Paint Shield color palette matched the initial design.

“It looks amazing,” says Ho.


This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of PPC magazine. Story by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Photography courtesy of AEC Cares. Read about more successful painting projects.