Waveland to become one-way street to accommodate sports field for Schurz HS
by BRIAN NADIG
A portion of Waveland Avenue would become a one-way street under a revised plan to install a new athletic field at Schurz High School.
“We’re honoring our commitment to keep Waveland open to traffic while bringing a sports field to the school and park amenities to the community,” Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said.
In 2014 plans called for the closure of Waveland between Milwaukee Avenue and Lowell Avenue, but many residents objected because Waveland is one of the access points to and from the neighborhood to the north and east of the school.
Currently that stretch of Waveland is a two-way street, but under the plan only a northeasterly flow of traffic from Milwaukee would be allowed. For motorists looking to exit the neighborhood, one alternative would remain Kostner Avenue, which is a one-way street that flows southwest toward Milwaukee.
The Old Irving Park Association objected to the closing of the street, and association officials said this week that they will be reviewing updated plans for Waveland and the sports turf. Under the plan Waveland would be narrowed in order to allow enough space for a regulation-size soccer field.
“We have not been officially notified that Waveland will become a one-way street, and we have not been presented with any information that would allow us to evaluate any such proposal. OIPA welcomes the opportunity to view updated athletic field plans, and we will encourage our membership to attend any/all future community meetings.
“OIPA remains committed to advocating for our residents’ quality of life, including addressing all of the concerns about the field project which were previously raised by the community, while also working collaboratively with the 45th Ward and Schurz High School,” the association said in a statement.
In a Facebook posting, Arena wrote, “In addition to the soccer field, the proposal includes a softball field, a running track and (outdoor) exercise equipment. Those amenities would be open to the community during non-school use. No buildings or permanent stands are planned. Lighting will be engineered to prevent spillover from the field.”
Additional details about the project will be presented at an open house which Schurz will host “in the coming weeks,” according to Arena.
A cost estimate for the project was not immediately available, but most of the funds would come from the Portage Park Tax Increment Financing District, Brugh said.