New Playlot set for Beaubien
by BRIAN NADIG
A new playlot will be constructed at Beaubien School this fall while its asphalt playground along Argyle Street is being replaced by an artificial surface.
The school had hoped that the artificial turf would be installed this summer, but the project was delayed with the decision by the school system to fund a playlot at the school. The installation of the artificial turf, which is estimated to cost $183,000, is being funded through the 45th Ward’s discretionary budget. The projects that will be funded under the budget were decided by a community vote that Alderman John Arena held in May.
Beaubien principal Michelle Ludford said that the school probably moved up on the priority list for a playlot because of the cost savings of having the playlot and the playground installed at the same time. Ludford said that bidding for the projects is being delayed until the end of the summer, when construction costs tend to go down.
The school is one of three elementary schools on the Northwest Side that do not have a playlot. The approximately 5,000-square-foot playlot will be installed to the north of the artificial-turf playground, which will measure 13,375 square feet.
The school will create a design committee for the playlot, which will have a soft surface and a variety of play apparatuses. Ludford said that she would like the playlot to have separate areas for younger and older children and that students and parents will participate in a vote to choose the winning design.
The projected cost of the playlot was not available, but the Chicago Public Schools is paying for the entire project, Ludford said. The school had been raising funds to help pay for the playlot.
There is a playlot at Roberts Square Park, 5200 W. Argyle St., across the street from Beaubien, 5025 N. Laramie Ave., but the school does not use the park’s playlot because officials say it would be difficult to monitor the children there during recess. The 3.5-acre park is scheduled to receive new playground equipment next year.