CPS Agrees To Not Build In Garden, Agrees To Public Comment Process

In a joint statement issued Friday afternoon by Waters Principal Titia Kipp, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47) and Waters LSC Chair Erica Smith, Chicago Public Schools and the Public Building Commission agreed to halt work on the proposed $24 million school addition, and to not build in the Waters Garden.

The statement was issued after a meeting, held in Pawar’s office Friday morning, included Kipp, Smith, representatives of the PBC, CPS and the contracted architects for the addition, Legat Architects, according to Smith.

The statement reads:

Dear Waters Parents, Community, and Friends of the Garden

This morning, Alderman Pawar hosted a meeting with myself, our Local School Council Chair, Erica Smith, representatives from Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Chicago Public Building Commission (PBC), and architects working on the design for our new Annex. Collectively, we decided that the south end of the school grounds — where the Bur Oaks and native plant garden is located — will no longer be considered as a potential site for the new annex. This option is considered “off the table.”

In addition, we will meet with key stakeholders to discuss other site options, space and programmatic needs. Following that, a public meeting will be announced. This is a very positive step forward, and we (the Alderman’s Office, Waters School, CPS, and the PBC) will work together to ensure that the school and community are informed about each step in the process and have an opportunity to voice their ideas and concerns as the new annex is designed, planned, and constructed. We are confident that we can develop a plan that both accommodates our growth as a school and community, and preserves a major asset for the city of Chicago (the garden). We appreciate your advocacy on this issue, and will continue to update the community as new information becomes available.

Have a great weekend!

Titia Kipp, Principal

Erica Smith, LSC Chairperson

Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward Alderman

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