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Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut the ribbon on the new school playground and turf field at Frazier International Magnet School. In 2014, the City of Chicago will complete renovations at 22 school playgrounds and 103 park playgrounds across the city. Frazier is an International Baccalaureate elementary school that earned a National Blue Ribbon Award in 2013. It was the first non-selective elementary school to receive this honor.
“As an International Baccalaureate school and National Blue Ribbon Award winner, the new playground and turf field now mirrors the educational excellence of Frazier,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We continue to strengthen our neighborhoods through these essential investments, ensuring every child in the City of Chicago is no more than a ten minute walk to a park or playground.”
Three years after opening its doors in 2007, Frazier was recognized as Chicago’s first 90/90/90 school. This means 90 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch; 90 percent or more of students are members of an ethnic minority group; and 90 percent or more of the student populations meets or exceeds state academic standards.
The playground and turf field were funded through NATO legacy and Chicago Park District capital funds. In October 2012, Mayor Emanuel announced $6.5 million in NATO legacy and Chicago Park District funds would be invested in neighborhood and transformative park projects across the city. The $5.5 million in excess funds raised privately for the NATO summit were invested directly in Chicago’s communities, to the direct benefit of Chicago’s residents. This funding was leveraged with $1 million in Chicago Park District capital funds to enhance park investments. Additional parks, boathouses, school learning gardens, the Beverly Arts Center and the Bloomingdale Trail have also received funds through the NATO legacy projects.
The new Frazier School playground compliments the Chicago Plays! playground renovation program launched by Mayor Emanuel. The Chicago Park District will rebuild, repair and/or refurbish 325 playgrounds in communities across Chicago. Last year, 50 playgrounds were rehabilitated through the program. In 2014, more than 100 playgrounds will be refurbished through the Chicago Plays! program.