On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, alongside Mayor Emanuel and State Representative Martwick, I unveiled a $36 million plan to address school overcrowding on the Northwest Side.
The announcement included a $24 million plan to renovate Prussing School, 4650 N. Menard, and add a permanent eight-classroom annex to address the chronic overcrowding issue. This announcement was made in front of a diverse audience of parents and students, representing 36 countries and 27 languages. In a school where 63.5% of students qualify as low-income, I am very proud of this investment in their future.
The plan also includes a new pre-kindergarten center at the old St. Cornelius School, 5252 N. Long Avenue. Last year, St. Cornelius, along with other area Catholic schools, merged into the new St. Francis Academy, making it an ideal location for the pre-K center. The new center will open up space in the regions’ elementary schools, including Beaubien, Hitch, Prussing, and Farnsworth.
Finally, the announcement included plans for new turf fields at Schurz, Hitch, and Farnsworth schools. Turf fields have lower maintenance costs and save water, making this a fiscally responsible investment for these schools.
I am proud to usher in these changes to our schools and to continue to collaborate with the Mayor and CPS in developing comprehensive plans to address overcrowding on the Northwest Side.