Improvements Springing Up in the 19th Ward

On Thurs., Apr. 19, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea joined Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and the Public Building Commission to break ground on the Beverly Park Playground, and annexes at Esmond Elementary School and Mt. Greenwood Elementary School.

“This series of investments on the south west side will create the state-of-the-art facilities and extra space necessary to support the future of our children and the future of our city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Together with Alderman O’Shea, we are proud to make smart, critical investments that help both students and residents to strengthen the social fabric of this community.”

“Ongoing investments in our parks and our schools are a sign of what’s to come in Beverly, Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood,” said Ald. O’Shea. “These projects will not only benefit our children, they will become community staples that benefit our residents for generations to come.”

The Beverly Park Playground will undergo significant renovations. New play equipment for children ages 2 to12 includes a swing set, net climbers and a spinning play feature. Improvements include new artificial turf surfacing, a new asphalt ramp leading into the playground, new park signage and modifications to the existing timber walls.

“Neighborhood playgrounds are valuable resources that strengthen our communities and enrich the lives of every individual that visits our parks,” said Chicago Park District Superintendent & CEO Michael P. Kelly. “Today, we are not only investing in these resources, but also in our future generations.”

The state-of-the-art playground improvements will align with ADA accessibility guidelines and are expected to be complete by September.

New annexes at Esmond Elementary School in Beverly/Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood Elementary School in Mount Greenwood are expected to be completed by January.

“The annexes at Esmond and Mount Greenwood Elementary will create extra space and state-of- the-art learning facilities necessary for our students to learn, grow, and thrive,” said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “These investments will provide engaging learning opportunities for generations to come.”

The two-story 20,000 square foot annex at Esmond School will replace a deteriorating stand-alone modular building. It will include a classroom, computer lab, science lab, art room with storage, library, dining room, hybrid kitchen and dining area, administrative office, bathrooms, building storage, an elevator and building support space. The project will also include a renovated parking lot, a new playground, community garden, and a turf field. Renovations to the existing building include a new roof and repairs to the exterior envelope.

The two-story 27,000 square foot annex at Mt. Greenwood School will include 13 classrooms, a science lab, offices, storage and utility rooms, bathrooms and an elevator. Work within the school building will include expanding the lunchroom capacity. The school will get a new playground and parking lot.

These investments build on upcoming and completed projects in the 19th Ward since 2011, including the Morgan Park Sports Center and a new walking path and outdoor exercise equipment Mt. Greenwood Park. Upcoming projects include the addition of a new water feature at Graver Park.