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The [Monday] Papers

"More than a year after Chicago Public Schools closed nearly 50 schools for under-enrollment, there has been little progress on finding new uses for most of the now-empty buildings," the Tribune reports.

"Just three of the buildings have been opened for bidding to potential developers and buyers."

You'd think there would've been a plan for these buildings. But that would have taken time to develop, and Rahm is, you know, always in a hurry.

"[T]here are no plans in the works for 36 buildings, some of which are being vandalized as they sit empty, becoming neighborhood eyesores."

Or worse.

"The tab for maintaining the buildings over the last year was $1.8 million, and FOX 32's own random visits to the schools found neighbors complaining that they've become magnet schools - magnets for the wrong type of people."

Talk about destabilizing neighborhoods - Rahm has managed to turn safe havens into scary hovels.

"At the Armstrong Math and Science Academy, FOX 32 found broken windows. The playground at Henson Elementary was littered with decaying mattresses, Betsy Ross Elementary had an open window, and Paderewski Elementary was tagged with graffitti. At Pope Elementary, the playground was covered with weeds."

Back to the Tribune: "In addition to these buildings, the district has yet to find a use for 21 properties from 2012, when it moved to sell 29 buildings and vacant lots from previous school closings."

*

"Just three of the buildings have been opened for bidding to potential developers and buyers. Aldermen, who have been charged to gather community input on preferred use of the buildings, have scheduled meetings on seven other schools.

"I think it's moving slow," said Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th, who has six closed buildings in his current and former ward boundaries. "For me to have all of these meetings, my schedule doesn't allow me to do it immediately. It should be (Chicago Public Schools) doing this, but they're asking us to do it because they're trying to be sensitive to the community and the aldermen. That type of sensitivity takes time."

Okay, so first, CPS has basically handed the buildings to aldermen and said, "Here, you take 'em!"

Second, what type of sensitivity takes time? Perhaps the sensitivity to break Barbara Byrd-Bennett's pledge that the schools won't re-open as charters. The longer those schools sit there deteriorating, the more open communities will be going along with what has probably been the plan all along.

*

"Tom Tyrrell, CPS' chief operating officer in charge of selling or finding new uses for the closed buildings, said the district will not consider bids considered too low.

"They're not going for $1, $5 or $10," Tyrrell said. "That would be shirking our fiduciary responsibility. We will sell them for a price that's reasonable and rational based on the market."

Um, there's not really much of a market in many of these neighborhoods - particularly for buildings that look like schools. You're probably not gonna get a Whole Foods or an Olive Garden to come into those spaces.

*

"If buildings do not generate interest from community groups or commercially, CPS will work to 'figure out something that the community would support and that CPS would not have to fund because at the end of the day we have to get these buildings off our books,' Tyrrell said."

The community wants schools in those schools!

*

"Historically, CPS as well as other districts across the country has filled closed schools with charters. Andrew Broy, president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, said he's told community groups in Austin and North Lawndale that some charter operators have raised the funds necessary to also rehabilitate some of the old CPS buildings.

"I think you'll find the best use for these buildings in many cases will be a school," Broy said. "If you have a charter or contract school, or a private school any kids in a school, that would be preferable to another vacant building being a magnet for bad activity."

Then Broy ran off with a can of spray paint in his hand.

*

P.S.: People don't want charter schools. So if you're gonna be market-based . . .

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The Beachwood Radio Hour: Our Red-Faced Red-Light Mayor
Plus: George Ryan Is A Horse's Ass, Chicago vs. EDM, and Being Dick Durbin.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: Yay, Tastee-Freez!
Podcasting from the picnic tables: Jackie Robinson West; The Bears' #FirstDivisionProblems; Cartoon Cub; Jose Abreu Is Tired; Kiss The Sky.

The White Sox Report: Baby Boomer Baseball
Television is the engineer driving professional sports, dictating the pace of games.

The Cub Factor
Will appear on Tuesday.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Spider Bags, Flesh Panthers, Anders Osborne, Santana and Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub, Basement, Enuff Znuff, Veilside, OK Go, Jamie Lono & Noble Heart, Def Leppard, and KISS.

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BeachBook
* Song: Corn Dog From The Tastee-Freez.

* Little League Isn't Popular In Lake County.

* SPJ: White House Provides Non-Response Response To Letter Opposing Excessive PIO Controls.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Earth, Wind, Air, Water & Fire.



Permalink

Posted on August 18, 2014


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Canada Cuts Youth Hockey Injuries In Half.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.


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