It is official, our kids are back in school. I want to wish all of our students the best this school year. I also want to thank our principals, teachers, school administrators and parents in advance for another year. Our schools continue to improve and offer our families terrific education options.
We continue to invest in our schools across the Ward. I am excited to announce that the construction will begin in 2018 for the $8 million addition to Mark Sheridan School. This renovation will include a new annex building with additional classrooms, a gym and new ADA bathrooms. This school was built in 1881 and the last renovation was done in 1901. I would again like to thank Mayor Emanuel for his assistance in making this happen.
In addition to changes at Mark Sheridan, we have also had work done at Armour School, McClellan and St. Gabriel. McClellan will be revealing their new playground to the students this week as the work was completed over the summer. We were able to work with the new Principal of Armour School, Katherine Chu, to provide safe access to their playing fields. Katherine has a great vision for Armour and I am excited for what their future holds. We were able to replace the sidewalks around St. Gabriel School and I am currently working with the Principal, Steve Adams to secure funding on additional renovations.
I continue to invest in public safety and used Aldermanic Menu Money to install a POD camera near James Ward School. These cameras are directly connected to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Office of Emergency Management Communications (OEMC).
After hearing many concerns regarding pedestrian safety from the parents and neighbors at Bridgeport Catholic Academy (BCA), we worked with Principal Caroline Koster, CPD and OEM to implement a new traffic plan at the school. We did a similar plan last year at Healy School. It has been great to hear the positive feedback about the implementation of these plans and parents feeling reassured about the safety of their children.
Last week, I joined my colleagues Danny Solis of the 25th Ward and Pat Dowell of the 3rd Ward to announce the new Chicago Public High School. CPS announced that the National Teachers Academy will transition into a High School beginning in 2019. After several community meetings and hearing from our neighbors, I strongly support this decision. We have a growing population and there is a need for a new high school. I look forward to continuing to participate in conversations about how to organize this proposed new high school to serve our communities.
I wish everyone a successful and safe school year. Commissioner Daley and I look forward to meeting with all of the principals at the 11th Ward Principal’s Breakfast.
Finally, I just wanted to let everyone know we will be starting our capital improvements this month. We will try and keep everyone informed. Please check out our website www.ward11.org for additional information. As always, if you have any constituent concerns, please reach out to my office 7732546677.
11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. Thompson