New Friends of Palmer seeks capital projects
by BRIAN NADIG
The newly formed Friends of Palmer is seeking to generate funds and support for the installation of an artificial playing surface on school grounds at the northeast corner of Argyle Street and Kenneth Avenue.
Palmer School interim principal Jennifer Dixon said that several area schools are receiving new athletics fields and that many parents feel Palmer should be added to the list due to the poor condition of the current field. Dixon said that the school deserves of a new field and other capital improvements, including roof repairs, given its Level 1-plus academic performance rating, the highest given by the Chicago Public Schools.
A site plan for the proposed turf project states that residents of North Mayfair "no longer want to have recess, gym and community events on a barren, dusty or, after a rainstorm, muddy field. The current field is run-down, filled with gravel and unsafe."
Efforts also are being made to get a new playground, where a slide had to be temporarily blocked off because it was cracked. "The adjacent playground for younger kids is small and overcrowded. The foam tiles beneath it shift and create gaps, causing children to trip and fall," the site plan states.
Volunteers hope to collect 1,000 signatures on a petition in support of capital improvements at the school. The school’s campus includes a garden in which students learn about healthy eating.
The mission statement of Friends of Palmer calls for the nonprofit organization to support efforts that will enhance the learning experience at the school by encouraging parent involvement and holding fund-raisers. The group plans to hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.