FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
CHICAGO – The Chicago Board of Education today approved the sale of the former Drake Elementary school site for $1.5 million following a community engagement process to identify a redevelopment plan for the property. The sale of the former Drake site marks the 12th school property involved in the 2013 School Actions to be repurposed to meet the needs of the community.
"By utilizing a thorough community engagement process, we have been able to effectively partner with Aldermen to revitalize former school buildings in unique and productive ways," said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. "Every additional dollar we bring into the District is crucial during these challenging financial times, and this sale will allow us to ensure the transformation of an important site while bringing in revenue far beyond the appraised value of the property."
Prior to soliciting bids for the former Drake building, an Alderman-led community engagement process was carried out to determine a preferred redevelopment plan for the property. In December 2015, after usage requirements were identified by the community, CPS issued an RFP seeking bids for the site. The District received five bids for the property, and the highest bid was submitted by Local 134 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The bid from Local 134 exceeds the appraised valuation of $800,000-$975,000, and meets the usage requirements for the property, which require the redeveloped property to include administrative offices and meeting spaces, as well as vocational training resources and mentoring programs. The usage restrictions also note that portions of the property may be used for community programming and/or a credit union.
"This is a great opportunity for Local 134 ?IBEW to partner with the Bronzeville Community, and we look forward to a long and rewarding relationship," said Don Finn, Local 134 IBEW Business Manager.
CPS is engaged in a multi-phase strategy outlined by the Mayoral Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development to repurpose former school sites in ways that will meet the needs of each surrounding community and enrich neighborhoods for years to come. Since the beginning of the process, CPS has repurposed or sold 12 former school sites. Four former school sites were immediately repurposed to meet the programmatic needs of the city, and CPS has reached agreements to sell eight other former school sites, including the sale authorized today.
A crucial component of the repurposing process is community engagement and input. The District continues to work with Aldermanic offices throughout the city as part of this process. The District is committed to repurposing all of its unused properties, and once preferred uses are determined by the community, the District will bring bid solicitations to the market.
Chicago Public Schools serves 392,000 students in 660 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school district.