CPS seeks to open new pre-school inside former health clinic building at North Park Village; community meeting set for 4 pm Wednesday, March 30
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Public Schools is planning to open a 200-student “West Ridge”early education center inside the former health clinic building at North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road.
The Chicago Board of Education recently filed a zoning application to amend the site’s existing planned development ordinance to allow for pre-school and daycare uses on the site of the planned school. The school would be intended for 4-year-olds, and there would be 33 staff members.
The vacant one-story building, which once housed a cancer treatment facility and is located near the entrance of the village, was constructed in 1979 and is in need of significant renovations, the zoning application states. All windows would be replaced, and a playground would be built under the proposal.
Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) will hold a community meeting on the proposal at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in the Building H Community Room, located on the 155-acre village campus. At the meeting CPS officials will present plans for the project and answer questions.
Both the City Council Zoning Committee and Chicago Plan Commission will have to hold public hearings on the proposal prior to any approval.
The school system also is planning to open early education centers at 5330 W. Devon Ave. inside a two-story office building in Edgebrook, 6662 N. Northwest Hwy. inside a former carpet store in Edison Park and 5252 N. Long Ave. inside the former Saint Cornelius School in Jefferson Park.
North Park Village Advisory Council co-chair Jac Charlier said that the council has not discussed the CPS proposal for the village campus. He added that Nugent’s office notified another co-chair of a possible pre-school for site but that details were not given.
Charlier said that any proposal for the former health clinic should be discussed as part of the new community engagement and planning process for the entire village site which the council just approved and is launching this month. He said that the council wants community input on what future uses should be at the center, which includes a 46-acre nature preserve, a gymnastics center and several senior living complexes.
The advisory council includes representatives from many Northwest Side civic groups.
The site was home to the former Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium from 1911 to the 1970s. The site’s redevelopment at times has been controversial, and in 2020 Nugent successfully sought to have a 75-year easement on the site placed in perpetuity. The conservation easement protects the land from commercial development.