A now-vacant storefront on Davis Street will likely become the arts annex for Beacon Academy, a downtown Montessori high school.

The city’s Design and Project Review Committee unanimously recommended approval on Monday. While the issue still has to go to the Land Use Commission and then to City Council, it is expected to sail through with no opposition.

Beacon is located in the Rotary Center on Sherman Avenue, a few blocks from the 1026 Davis Street site for the annex.

School representatives told DAPR that the new space will become an arts annex, with a visual arts classroom, a performing arts classroom, and an additional community/meeting area.

1026 Davis used to be a fitness studio.

DAPR’s recommended approval comes with a couple of conditions which school officials said they will meet: no vehicular dropoff or pickup at the Davis Street site (students and staff will have to walk from the main school), and no screens blocking the windows.

“People like to look inside buildings and see people,” said DAPR chair Johanna Nyden, because it makes for a more lively downtown.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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