Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

The Financials of Friends Select’s Roof – Does Its Value Offset Expensive Price Tag?

FSS Field Hockey on the Roof

The Turf Roof atop Friends Select is home to field hockey games, soccer practices, and PE classes for the entire school. The roof saw expensive remodeling in 2022, a much-needed upgrade after 17 years with the same surface.  The financial benefits of renting it out and using it for athletics are an important source of income and value for the school.

New turf isn’t cheap. The recent installation on the Parkway building came at a steep price for the school: according to Matt Rosen, Chief Financial Officer at FSS, the “new turf field roof and installation cost around $1.1 million.”

However, that price creates a desirable place for sports in Center City, Philadelphia. “When not used by FSS, the roof is used by many local athletics groups such as HeyDay Athletics, Soccer Shots, Just Play, and CASA soccer,” says Matt. “We also occasionally get requests to have events on the roof for private functions.” 

Renting out the roof costs about $200 per hour, although that rate can be reduced for groups that use the facility frequently. Although these programs generate a substantial amount of revenue for the school that helps to lessen the burden of the roof’s financial investment, the installation and upkeep of the roof are expensive. “[The revenue] is not enough to cover those costs. The new turf field will last us 10-15 years, which ends up being about $120,000 per year with inflation,” said Matt. “These rental groups might provide somewhere around $40k of revenue per year.” According to Matt, though, this added usage creates additional roof-related expenses.

The roof generates revenue from sources outside of school hours, but it is also an invaluable space for the FSS community to utilize daily. “We wanted the whole community to utilize it,” said Bill Klose, Friend Select’s Athletic Director. Bill was a key contributor to its design and installation. The whole community has indeed used the roof, including recent events spanning from field hockey games to a back-to-school party for parents, teachers, and alums. 

The roof has seen many users over the years at Friends Select and students may be unaware of some of the teams and programs that use it. The roof has even received rental requests from a professional team. “The request for the field by the Ultimate team was the Philadelphia Surge, the women’s pro team,” said Matt.

Though all these rentals do not make the roof pay for itself, the renovations give longevity to a feature of Friends Select that most schools do not have.

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Elliot Forman

Elliot Forman is a senior in the journalism class at Friends Select. He is a captain of the soccer and Quizbowl team and plays on the baseball team. Elliot covers sports for The Falcon, including FSS Basketball and Philadelphia sports.

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