I hope everyone enjoyed Labor Day weekend. I want to thank our friends in Labor for all they do for us. They are the backbone of the middle class.
Our kids are officially back to school. It was an honor to join the students of Air Force Academy High School yesterday and officially welcome them back on the 10th year anniversary of the school. I want to wish everyone a healthy, productive and successful school year. I would like to thank our principals, teachers and staff for all they do for our children.
Last week, Commissioner Daley and I shared that Greyhound Bus is moving their bus maintenance facility from Chicago and Halsted to 39th and Normal. Greyhound plans to build a new state of the art facility on this 8 acre site. The new location will be utilized as a maintenance repair shop and corporate office space. Greyhound will create 250 permanent jobs at this facility, primarily union jobs as well as temporary construction jobs to build the facility. This will be a great redevelopment of vacant land and a permitted use in the current zoning district. We will work closely with the leadership of Greyhound to ensure this is a seamless fit for our community.
On Friday, Commissioner Daley and I joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Principal O’Connell, Local School Council, teachers and staff to unveil the new annex building at Mark Sheridan. The new annex includes a gymnasium and multi-purpose room, new science lab and new handicapped accessible washrooms as well as an elevator that finally makes the original building accessible. The original school building was built in 1881 and the last expansion/renovation was done in 1901. This was a much needed investment and will be a great development for the entire community.
Tomorrow marks 2 years that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 31 Bus launched the first ride, since 1997 when the bus was stopped due to ridership. In 2016, the bus was launched as a six month pilot program and I have been able to get the program extended 3 times since then.
I am well aware of the concerns regarding the hours of operation and the route. I have talked to the CTA and if ridership increases, then we can explore expansion. Expanding the hours increases the daily ridership requirements. It is imperative that during the current hours the ridership numbers increase to justify the bus, not just during peak hours. I will continue to work with CTA and outside institutions in attempts to secure funding for an additional extension of this pilot but please continue to ride and encourage your neighbors to ride the 31st St. bus.
Tonight, CPS is hosting a community meeting regarding the boundaries of the new Near South High School (55 W. Cermak Road). The meeting is being held at the IUOE 399 Union Hall located at 2260 South Grove Street and will begin at 6:00pm. I hope you can attend this meeting to advocate for our students to be included in the high school boundaries.
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. As always, if you have any constituent concerns, please reach out to my office 773- 254- 6677.
11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. Thompson