Sauganash school on track to get new $40 million addition
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Board of Education at its Aug. 26 meeting approved a plan to build a $40 million addition to the overcrowded Sauganash School, 6040 N. Kilpatrick Ave., which received an addition in 2011.
"I was very excited for the community," Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) said after the board’s vote.
Nugent said that she has been working on securing more classroom space for the school since the day she took office in 2019 and that it has been a collaborative effort, with parents, teachers, the local school council and others voicing support for an addition.
"It’s the most overcrowded neighborhood school in the city … at 124 percent capacity (and) it will be at 136 percent in 4 years," Nugent said.
Current enrollment is at 665 students, which is 155 more students than in 2009. "Sauganash School is incredible, and people want to be there," Nugent said. She added that it has a diverse population, as students speak 44 languages and 29.5 percent come from low-income families, Nugent said.
The new addition will address safety concerns as the school has been cited for code violations since it has had to use storage space for some student instruction, Nugent said.
The school lacks a library and dedicated classrooms for art and music and is hoping the addition would allow for a new pre-kindergarten program, according to one school official.
Tentative plans call for the new addition to include 12 classrooms and a new gym or enlargement of the existing one, Nugent said. After its completion, the school is expected to have three homerooms for each grade, she said.
A timetable for the project’s construction is not available. It’s unclear where the new addition would be located.
The first 42,154-square-foot addition completed in 2011 featured 12 classrooms, a science lab, and a warming kitchen and lunchroom at the south end of the new building. The addition was connected to the south side of the existing building but is independent of it. The project cost $10.5 million.