Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Aldermen Brian Doherty (41st) and Patrick Levar (45th) and residents of the Northwest Side for a visit to the site of the addition to the John W. Garvy Elementary School, where he thanked the community for their help in moving Chicago forward.
"No other city in the nation has taken such a major step to assure that our children learn in modern, up-to-date environments," Daley said at another stop on his "Neighborhood Appreciation Tour" he is making before he leaves office in May. "New school facilities give students and staff a fresh start, greater hope and an improved learning environment."
Since Mayor Daley assumed responsibility for CPS in 1995, CPS has opened 47 new schools.
"In the competition for the jobs of the tomorrow, which are the key to Chicago's future, nothing is more important than continuing to improve our schools," Daley said. "We must pay special attention to improving our neighborhood elementary and high schools, as we are here with this new facility."
The new $9.4 million Garvy Elementary School addition at 5225 N. Oak Park Ave. will open in the fall of 2011. The new addition will be approximately 33,000 square feet and will feature 11 new classrooms and a science lab, and will be connected to the existing school building.
During the visit to Garvy School, Mayor Daley highlighted some of the major accomplishments that the City and the residents of the Northwest Side neighborhoods have accomplished together:
- The Chicago Public Schools have renovated and upgraded a number of other school facilities in the 41st and 45th Wards including:
- The Edgebrook School, at 6525 N. Hiawatha Ave., which is also building a new addition. A large campus park surrounds the school and a playlot was also built in 1996.
- The Ohanan Elementary School at 6634 W. Raven St., is also building a new addition, and a play lot was added in 1998.
- Beard Elementary School, 6445 W Strong St, received an addition and renovations in 1995, as did Beaubien Elementary School, at 5025 N Laramie Ave. in 2000.
- The City also built campus parks and playgrounds at a total of eleven schools in the area since 1996.
- The City opened the new Oriole Park Branch Library at 7454 W. Balmoral Ave. in 2004 and the new Edgebrook Branch Library at 5331 W. Devon Ave. in 2000.
- The City has invested in public safety infrastructure throughout the community, including the creation of the 16th District Police Station in 2000 at 5151 N. Milwaukee Ave., one of the first new stations opened through the Neighborhoods Alive program.
The new police station is a modern, state-of-the-art facility that addresses the needs the community and of 21st century law enforcement. In recent years, crime in the 16th District has dropped by more than 13%, leading the city in the percentage of crime reduction.
- The City has also made a number of improvements to parks and open space throughout the community, including:
- The creation of Grandparents Park in 1998 and Centennial Park in 2001.
- 16 new playgrounds built by the Chicago Park District in the community since 1989.
- Site upgrades at several other parks, including an interactive water feature at Wilson Park, ornamental fencing at Jefferson Memorial Park and a community garden at Eagle Park.
- A new dog-friendly area and fitness center in Norwood Park.
- The City is planning for the development future of the area by recently completing a land-use survey for the Elston/Armstrong Industrial Corridor and a Transit-Friendly Development Guide for the development around the area's mass transit stations.
- The City has invested nearly $15 million in TIF-assisted infrastructure and business improvements throughout the area, including:
- Streetscape and reconstruction projects along the area's main thoroughfares, including Milwaukee, Montrose and Irving Park Road.
- The rehabilitation of the former Klee Department Store at Milwaukee and Irving into a mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood anchor.
- The creation of the 117,000-square-foot Marketplace at Six Corners shopping plaza in 1998. The $20 million project provided new retail opportunities to the area.
- Through the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF), area businesses like trophy manufacturer Sports Awards received a matching grant of $60,000 to rehabilitate a building at 5544 W. Armstrong Ave.
- The City has also supported the construction of affordable housing for area seniors, including the construction of Senior Suites of Jefferson Park, an 81-unit complex on once vacant land at 5400 N. Northwest Highway.
- The Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative fosters an appreciation of the Chicago Bungalow, encourages their rehabilitation and assists owners with adopting these homes to current needs, which in turn helps to strengthen our neighborhoods. To date, more than 10,000 bungalows – many on the Northwest Side – have been certified and more than 4,800 families citywide have used the grants and other incentives offered by the HCBA to purchase or rehab their homes.
- The O'Hare Modernization Program (OMP) is Mayor Daley's vision for building a 21st century airport at O'Hare International Airport at no cost to local or state taxpayers. The project is transforming O'Hare's airfield from a system of intersecting runways into a modern parallel runway configuration, to reduce flight delays and increase capacity well into the future.
When the OMP is complete in 2014, O'Hare will have eight runways - six will be east-west parallel runways and two crosswind runways. The modernization of the airport will have a major economic impact on the region, creating more than 195,000 jobs in the Chicago area and generating $18 billion in additional annual economic benefits.
"These projects represent only the highlights of what we have accomplished in the 41st and 45th Wards," Mayor Daley said. "I'm here today to thank every resident, every business and every not-for-profit for their service, support and cooperation on all these projects."
"Thank you for participating in the process. Thank you for your ideas, your input and your time," he said. "Working together we've brought Chicago into the 21st century, and given it a bright future. It's been a joy and an honor to be your Mayor." # # #