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Starfinder Foundation "light years ahead"


  • After making interior and site improvements, the crowning touch to Starfinder's facility would be a new metal clad exterior.

Starfinder Foundation's soccer, educational, and personal development programs inspire young people from under-served communities to achieve success both on and off the field. Starfinder promotes youth leadership, a love of learning, the benefits of teamwork, and the rewards of commitment and responsibility.

If it weren’t for all the positive energy radiating from Starfinder’s Main Street Manayunk facility, you might say it was between a rock and a hard place. The nonprofit’s utilitarian metal and masonry building is located hard against Main Street and backs up to high stone retaining wall. Starfinder loves its home, which feels more spacious inside thanks to a 29,000 square foot interior soccer field. But there’s room for improvement.

Starfinder came to the Collaborative seeking advice on how to zero in on important upgrades and repairs, create better space for its administrators, improve accessibility, accommodate educational programs and large gatherings, create a comfortable perch for families to watch games, and gain a little more presence on the street.

The Collaborative’s volunteer team took a comprehensive look at Starfinder’s facility to come up with some strategies. Their conceptual design—outlining and estimating three phases of improvements—will help Starfinder Foundation share their renovation goals, raise funding, and break work into manageable pieces.

“We are light years ahead of where we were last fall, when we knew there were many issues to tackle, but had no clarity about a way forward, “ says Heidi Warren, executive director of Starfinder Foundation, “You have given us an invaluable road map to guide us. This plan also gives all of us something very tangible and inspiring to stoke our excitement for what is possible.”

Starfinder will be presented on November 7, 2013 by project volunteer Devin Bradbury at the Center for Architecture as part of Elevator Pitch, an event that gives emerging architects the opportunity to hone their project pitching skills.

  • Phase 2 calls for a multi-purpose space for learning and gathering.

  • Starfinder today. The Main Street Manayunk facility was built in the 70's by the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center.

Phase 1 focuses on practical improvements with an immediate impact on operations:  a better heating and cooling system, bathrooms and locker area renovations, waterproofing of exterior foundation walls, site improvements to divert stormwater, and the separation of administrative offices from the soccer field.

Phase 2 adds classrooms, workout space, and an automatic sprinkler system.

Phase 3 focuses on making the building and site fully handicapped accessible, creating a mezzanine where families can comfortable watch games and practices, adding meeting space, and—finally—adding a new metal-clad skin and inviting new entrance.

  • Phase 3 calls for a new metal exterior and a brighter entrance.


Kudos to our client and volunteer team on a successful collaboration:

Starfinder Foundation Heidi Warren, Executive Director

VolunteerTeam Mathew Huffman, Team Leader Devin Bradbury Alysse Einbender Elizabeth Emig

Bruce E. Brooks & Associates Richard Hwang Joseph Matje

C. Erickson and Sons, Inc. Patrick Snoke

JFS Engineering, PC Joseph Schaffer

Larsen & Landis Eric Larsen



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