Palmer School set to receive new roof





by BRIAN NADIG

The Chicago Public Schools is allocating $10 to $15 million for a new roof at Palmer School, 5051 N. Kenneth Ave., according to Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th).

"The existing roof is so defective that the school has to pull out buckets every time it rains. The water has damaged every part of the building, from the masonry to the drywall," stated a news release from Laurino’s office.

The project will include repairs on the building’s interior and exterior which were damaged due to the leaking water, said Laurino spokesman Manuel Galvan. Work on the roof could start as early as next summer, and the project’s work schedule will be set so that it does not interfere with classes, he said.

A fund-raising foundation, Friends of Palmer, was formed about a year ago in an effort to bring attention to the school’s infrastructure needs.

In a Sept. 21 letter to school system officials, Laurino called for an addition to the school and other capital improvements: "For the last 17 years, nearly a third of Palmer’s students have been housed in ‘temporary’ modular units. CPS keeps spending money in an attempt to extend the life of the units, but the challenges only multiply as they age.

"In addition, without fire alarms or a safety alarm system, the modular units pose serious security concerns for the students and staff. Meanwhile, the school doesn’t have a library, or the technological infrastructure to support one.

"It has a cafeteria to warm up food (which children in the modulars can only reach by walking outside in all weather), but no facility to actually prepare food. As I mentioned in my capital requests since 2014, all of these problems could be solved at once by giving Palmer a permanent addition."

Palmer is a Level 1+ performing school, which is the school system’s highest status.