The first day at the long-awaited 5th Ward School has moved from the originally announced fall of 2024, to some time in 2025, and now to 18-24 months after whenever construction begins.
Sarita Smith, District 65’s Student Assignments Manager, told the school board’s Curriculum and Policy Committee on Monday that announcing a new target date that might not be met is not a good idea.
“We’ve stopped saying dates at this time,” Smith said,” because construction is reality just as COVID is reality.”
The $40 million dollar facility will return a neighborhood school to the historically Black 5th Ward. Students from that community have been bused to other parts of town since Evanston schools were desegrated half a century ago.
More information about the new school will be discussed at a community meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center.
Smith said four potential designs will be presented at the session.
One major question, Smith noted, is high interest in what the new building — replacing the old Foster School — will be named.
“I’ve probably been asked more about the name than anything else,” Smith said.
The new school will be grades K-8.
Smith said she has also been asked about early childhood programs for the community.
“We know early childhood is a need in that ward,” she stated.
“Where we put it” is yet to be determined.