Construction to start on new playground at Farnsworth
by BRIAN NADIG
Construction is scheduled to start in late September on a new turf field and playground at Farnsworth School, 5414 N. Linder Ave.
Farnsworth principal Barbara Oken said that the project will include a rain garden, helping to reduce flooding in the neighborhood. “It’s designed to hold water after a big rain,” Oken said.
The approximately $1.5 million project also will include an athletic field with a running track, new play equipment, an outdoor learning classroom and an edible garden, where students will grows fruits and vegetables. The playground, which will be located at the north end of the campus, will feature accessible sensory panels and an area for pre-kindergarteners.
Most of the construction is expected to be completed by mid-November, with the landscaping and installation of planter boxes being completed next spring if needed, Oken said.
Some of the project’s funding is being allocated from the Elston/Armstrong Tax Increment Financing District. The district was created in part to help fund the playground, as area homes and the school were included within the district’s boundaries.
Additional entities providing funds or other resources for the project include Space To Grow, Chicago Public Schools, the Healthy Schools Campaign, Openlands, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the 45th Ward participatory budget.
In other news, Oken reported that Farnsworth has earned an exemplary supportive schools certification, which the school system awards to those schools having a strong focus on the social, emotional and academic success of its students.