CPS plans two-story pre-k school for Downtown Edgebrook as part of $5.57 million lease agreement over 10 years; new school also planned for Edison Park
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Public Schools is planning to open an early childhood center inside the two-story Edgebrook Medical Building at the northeast corner of Devon and Minnehaha avenues and is expected to pay an estimated $5.57 million under a 10-year lease agreement for the project.
In recent months several tenants of the building, whose address is 5320-30 W. Devon Ave., have had to relocate, as CPS would be the building’s only tenant. The lease agreement also includes the approximately 25-space parking lot at 5314-16 W. Devon Ave.
The Chicago Board of Education at its Nov. 17 meeting approved a resolution authorizing the school system to enter into a lease agreement for the 12,340-square-foot building and 6,000-square-foot parking lot. The school system would gain access to the site no later than Feb. 1 so that improvements to the building can be made, according to CPS.
A construction permit calling for the addition of interior classrooms and a kitchen to the building is pending, according to the city Department of Buildings. The permit application also calls for a playlot.
The monthly base rent, which would increase annually, would start at $35,908.33 and increase to $46,854.58 by the 10th year, according to CPS. Plans also call for CPS to pay $706,212 in real estate taxes and operating expenses, such as maintenance of the common area, over the 10 years.
Information on the expected number of students at the school and the playlot location was not available. Some area merchants expressed concern about where teachers and parents would park, especially if the playlot were to replace all or part of the parking lot.
At least one area elementary school, Wildwood, has a pre-kindergarten program, and plans for the new Sauganash School annex include pre-kindergarten rooms.
Also on the block, a construction permit is pending for a second-floor addition to a one-story commercial building at 5318 W. Devon Ave., which is located between the planned school and the parking lot. The 5318 address is not listed on the CPS authorization document for the pre-kindergarten project.
The school system also is seeking to establish an early childhood center in Edison Park, with two half-day programs serving a total of about 90 students, at 6662 N. Northwest Hwy., where a carpet store is closing. The targeted opening date for the school is August, and the school system has agreed to pay $635,000 for the property, according to a CPS document.
CPS also is looking to establish a 6,619-square-foot pre-kindergarten facility at a shopping plaza at 3349 N. Harlem Ave. and is converting the former Saint Cornelius School, 5252 N. Long Ave., into an early education center for 280 students.
“The Office of Early Childhood Education’s mission is to provide all children and their families access to high-quality, equitable early learning experiences leading to success in elementary school and beyond,” CPS states on its website.