The new school for Evanston’s 5th Ward will be built where it was first suggested on Foster Field.
A proposal to combine construction of the school with a new Fleetwood-Jourdain Recreation Center had included options for rearranging or expanding the property used for the two facilities.
City officials said last week that doing both projects at the same time would not work, because of the school district’s tight timeline for completing the school project.
So the Evanston/Skokie School District 65 board is moving forward with plans to construct the school on the Foster Field site. And, at least for the moment, the recreation center will remain where it is.
Sarita Smith, District 65’s manager of student assignments, told the school board’s Curriculum and Policy Committee on Tuesday that “we were hoping that the city would separate their time frame from ours, which is great for us.”
Deciding what to do, or in this case, what not to do, has cost both the city and District 65 some money.
The city, which proposed the possibility of a joint school-rec center project, paid $200,000 for a study on the various options.
School officials say the study is part of why the 5th Ward school now is scheduled to open a year later than initially planned, causing the school system to will miss out on a projected $2 million dollars in savings from reduced busing.
Superintendent Devon Horton told the committee that the district will “submit an application for the property that we own.”
“We want to keep it very clean,” Horton added. “We are not submitting anything for any property or land that the city owns.”
The school board is paying for the new school.
Board Vice-President Biz Lindsay-Ryan said “the school building has always been the plan. We are moving forward while the city is still figuring out what they are doing with their space.”