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Mayor Richard M. Daley today dedicated the site of the new Sauganash Elementary School addition, located at 6040 N. Kilpatrick on the city’s Northwest Side.
The dedication was part of a “Neighborhood Appreciation Tour” the Mayor is taking throughout communities all over the city before leaves office in May to thank Chicagoans for their collaboration in helping the City move forward
“If we are to build a stronger city where every student is to be able to achieve success in life, we must continue to improve each and every school in Chicago,” Daley said in a news conference held at the school.
Daley said that after years of steady improvement, the City continues to take its schools to the next level in order to graduate students who are prepared to compete in the global economy and succeed in life.
The renovations of the school were overseen by the Chicago Public Building Commission, in an effort to improve schools throughout the city, with this beautiful facility that will open its doors in the fall to the children of this neighborhood.
The construction, which is slated to be completed in the fall, expands the school to over 42,000 square feet, and which includes 12 classrooms, one science lab and a kitchen and dining facility.
It also includes many environmentally sustainable features such as: a green roof, natural light and views, water efficiency measures, which is in line with the City’s efforts to green Chicago.
The renovations also increase the school’s accessibility to people with disabilities.
“Since I took over the Public Schools in 1995, our goal has always been to make every school one that a parent wants to send their child because it offers students a great opportunity for a solid education,” said Daley.
Daley said that the enhancements to Sauganash Elementary are just one example of the initiatives that have helped to make the Northwest Side a better place over the last 22 years, such as:
- Improvements to North Park Village, a complex encompassing independent living housing, and a park for low-income seniors in the 39th Ward.
- Investing $33 million in TIF projects to bring major employers like CCH publishers and Beltone Electronics and several dozen small businesses to the community.
- The construction of a new 17th District Police Station to better serve the residents of this community.
- The opening of three new Chicago Public Schools in the community and improvements to 13 other CPS schools, including Sauganash Elementary.
- Expansion of services offered at the North Park Village Nature Center, a 50-acre preserve overseen by the Chicago Park District, which offers educational programming for children and adults about nature and is used to host free popular festivals each year.
- Creation of 4.4 miles of bike lanes for bicyclists, includingthe Sauganash Trail, the city's most-recent "rails-to-trails" conversion – turning an unused former railroad right of way into a multi-use recreational path – just one of hundreds of projects designed to make Chicago the most bicycle-friendly city in the United States
- Nearly 20 major street improvement projects and 14 new construction projects to improve the streetscaping of the 39th Ward.
The CTA has undertaken big projects that have benefited Northwest Side residents over the past 20 years, including:
- Eliminating slow zones on the O’Hare branch of the Blue Line, resulting in greatly improved travel times for riders.
- Renovations to 18 Brown Line stations giving the CTA the ability to operate longer trains so more people could ride and also made the stations accessible to riders with disabilities.
“I’m here today to thank every resident, every community organization, every business and every not-for-profit for their advice, support and cooperation on all these projects,” Daley said. “Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time.”
The Mayor said it has been the honor of his life to work with and serve the people of Chicago.
“I love this City more than you can imagine, and working together we have brought Chicago into the 21st century, and perhaps beyond our greatest expectations,” he said.
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