What Improvements Have Been Made to 26th Ward Schools by the Alderman?

For the first time in 26th Ward history, two high schools are now established in its boundaries.  Marine Leadership Institute will open its doors on September 2, 2014, with over $4 Million in improvements. The Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) will also open its doors on the same day, with millions spent to establish this second high school.

But these are not the only public schools in the ward which has received attention and improvements by the Chicago Public Schools administration.

Since 2012, over $25 Million has been spent on improving our public schools in the 26th Ward. Below are the highlights of how these funds improved each school. 

This report provides a detailed list of total spending for each of our local schools from 1996 to the present. Next year, the Chicago Public Schools will spend another $15 Million.


Marine Leadership Institute

Marine Leadership Institute at Ames received $4,783,313 this year.

  • 2014--Ames expanded middle school (7-8) to include high school grades (9-12) and address the listed High School programmatic requirements, including High School standard science labs. Replaced interior doors; installed new marker boards in all classrooms and replaced gym floor with wood flooring. Made tuck-point and thermal crack repairs. Installed new synthetic turf soccer field and made mechanical upgrades (including replacing the controls with new ones).


Cameron Elementary

Cameron Element received $9.5 Million in improvements.

  • 2011--Groundbreakers Youth Initiative Playground Program in the construction of a new play lot by removing the existing playground structure, site preparation, for new equipment installation and general construction provisions. $182,966.
  • 2012--Additional new lunchroom and serving line, upgraded adjacent interior finishes at the hallway of the Ground Level, and provide required elements to satisfy the 20% Accessible Path of Travel. $884,655
  • 2012--A complete overhaul of the school and it's associated systems. Some of the major components included a new roof, targeted masonry repair, signage, and site work. Significant electrical, plumbing and mechanical work took place, including new boilers, chiller, and generator. Interior renovations were made to the gym, corridors, and classrooms  All associated ADA-compliant upgrades were made, including a new elevator. $8,527,200
  • 2013--Replaced the existing T-12 lighting with the more energy efficient T-8 lighting. $23,826

Pablo Caslas Elementary

Pablo Caslas has received almost $5 Million in improvements.

  • 2012-- interior renovation of existing finishes and repairs to the exterior of the building, including repair and replacement of flooring as needed, painting in areas where water damage existed and installed air-conditioning as needed. Roof and masonry replacement/repair was made to prevent water infiltration. Programmatic improvements were also made. $4,705,295
  • 2015--Summer Priority Project will include a new turf field at this facility. $324,654

Chopin Elementary

Chopin Elementary has received over $2.5 Million in improvements.

  • 2013--IT infrastructure and equipment upgrades were made, including Programmatic ADA Accessibility upgrades; Flooring was repaired and replaced, along with targeted painting in areas where water damage existed.  Air-conditioning was installed as needed. Roof and masonry replacement/repair was made and mechanical upgrades to ensure adequate heating and cooling system. $1,841,583
  • 2013--Security upgrades were made to this facility, including new cameras and all supporting equipment that will be tied into the viewing station at the main office. $122,283
  • 2014--Upgraded controls associated with mechanical equipment performance, as well as add two new AC units. $255,450

Lowell Elementary

Lowell Elementary has receive over $1 Million in improvements.

2012--Replaced the existing T-12 lighting with the more energy efficient T-8 lighting. $141,022
2013--Renovated classrooms to accommodate a student with special needs. $950,731

McAuliffe Elementary

McAuliffe Elementary will receive over $1.2 Million next year.

  • 2015--The purpose of this project is to support a proposed grade expansion at McAuliffe ES. This will include providing security upgrades, creating a computer, science, and art lab, and converting an existing computer lab into a classroom. Additionally included is the expansion of one small room into a larger space, as well as address sound transmission from a typical classroom into the library and vice versa. Building code required ADA improvements will be included, as well as any associated environmental issues. These items have come at the request of the Chief of Schools for the Network, John Price. $1,265,972

Mitchell Elementary

Mitchell Elementary has received almost $.5 Million in improvements.

  • 2011--Demolished field house and installed artificial turf field, ornamental fence and sidewalk. Hose bib on the building with associated piping & RPZ, replace four perimeter ROW curb cuts with new ADA compliant ramps. $482,093

Nobel Elementary

Nobel Elementary has received almost $.5 Million in improvements.

  • 2013--Lighting Retrofit. $39,803
  • 2014--Built new 3-5 and 5-12 combine play lot structures, including poured-in-place rubberized surface, play lot structures and foundations, and associated under drainage and drainage improvements. Projects includes accessibility improvements. $440,593


Stowe Elementary

Stowe Elementary received $.5 Million with another $.5 Million budgeted next year.

  • 2010--Installed new trash enclosure and cedar fence, a new interior and exterior ramped accessible
    entry and new interior and exterior ADA complaint signage. Relocated kitchen to expand the existing serving area, renovated existing lunchroom 010 and created a new music room. $561,651
  • 2015--Summer Priority Project will include providing window AC units for all classrooms. $300,717
  • 2015--Summer Priority Project will include providing a new double play lot, including one that will serve ages 3-5 and one that will serve ages 5-12. $226,568