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Bell School Construction Set For Next Spring, Coonley’s Next

By Sam Charles | Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Image from 47th Ward newsletter.

Expected to be completed in the next six months, the addition to Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School, 3730 N. Oakley Ave., will feature a new science lab, art room, music room, multipurpose cooking kitchen and multipurpose room. The project consists of a new addition on the south side of the existing school and specific renovations on the interior of the existing 1900′s building, according to the Chicago Public Buildings Commission.

The project, partnered by Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), Gov. Pat Quinn, State Sen. John Cullerton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools, is scheduled to begin in Spring 2013. As a result of the construction, Bell will be unable to have summer school in 2013, according to their website.

Pawar said that upon his election, he quickly realized that getting funds to Bell was a top priority.

“After I took office, one thing that became really clear was that Bell and Coonley needed their additions, and they needed them now,” Pawar said.

The funds needed to support the project were identified and allocated by Cullerton and Quinn, Pawar said. The project received $10 million in state funding.

“I worked closely with Dan Hynes, Paul Rosenfeld, the governor’s office, CPS and the mayor’s office…to get that project moving forward and just not let the money sit in an account somewhere and to actually get a project on the books,” Pawar said.

According to Bell’s website, the project, which includes renovation of the existing building, will be completed in February 2014.

“Once the project is complete, the new ancillary rooms will allow improved space utilization in the existing building,” the site reads. “This includes the creation of a second art room in a classroom with a sink and an additional music room. Those moves will take place by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.”

The alderman is also exploring ways to help Coonley Elementary School get funding for a possible addition of its own.

“Coonley is the big [project],” Pawar said. “I’ve made it clear to CPS and the mayor’s office that Coonley is a priority and I’m going to make the TIF money available for that project.”

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  • harryhamlinpark

    I’m sure Jahn is next.

  • Adam Herstein

    Why are additions being built when CPS is talking about closing a third of its schools?

    • vouchey

      The closings CPS is considering are in neighborhoods where public school attendance is down. In Northcenter and Roscoe Village, public school attendance is up – way up.

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