Preliminary plans for second Sauganash School addition unveiled
by JASON MEREL
The Chicago Public Building Commission presented preliminary plans for a new three-story, 37,500 square-foot addition to Sauganash School that would be located south and west of Hiawatha and Kilpatrick avenues.
“CPS heard us loud and clear,” Sauganash School principal Christine Munns said at a virtual community meeting on March 22.
“We had our needs and they’re going to be met,” she said.
The proposed annex would be the second addition to the school after the first one was completed in 2011.
Munns said the school, which is located at 6040 N. Kilpatrick Ave., is at more than 123 percent capacity with 665 students, with some classes being taught in hallways or stairwells to accommodate overcrowding.
The project will add a total of 14 classrooms, including dedicated rooms for art, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and music classes, as well as two pre-kindergarten classrooms. Plans also include administrative and counseling offices, washrooms and an ADA elevator for accessibility.
Plans call for the demolition of the gymnasium that was built in 1954 in the main school building.
Munns said the new 4,000 square-foot gymnasium would fit two gym classes at a time for eight periods per day. She said that some students currently have gym classes in the cafeteria so “it’s a big win” for the school. Additional seating from the bleachers and a stage will allow graduations and performances to be held in the gymnasium rather than the cafeteria, according to Munns.
The proposed annex does not include a library, however Munns explained that the school is working on better utilization of in-classroom libraries for literature in the curricula.
The proposed $40 million annex was approved by the Chicago Board of Education on Aug. 26, 2020.
Construction is anticipated to be completed by December of 2022 and the annex is expected to open in January of 2023. PBC chief building officer Ray Giderof said that construction is being planned in a way that will be minimally disruptive to students, staff and neighbors, adding that construction plans will be sent to the school and school families before any work begins.
PBC deputy director of planning and design Kerl LaJeune said the campus is a complex site and the location of the annex had to account for parking requirements.
The zoning requires a minimum of 23 parking spaces and the existing lot has 30 spaces. Plans for the annex will not affect the parking lot, however some trees near the lot will be removed and eventually replaced around the new building. LaJeune said the annex was designed to incorporate the existing architectural features of the campus so the school has a cohesive design.
“I am thrilled for this project to happen,” Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) said. “To have three classrooms per grade is what our children deserve and what’s right for this community.”
The first 42,154-square-foot annex built in 2011 featured 12 classrooms, a science lab, a warming kitchen and lunchroom at the south end of the new building. The 2011 project cost $10.5 million.