Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Public Building Commission Herald New School

Eve Hyatt, 773-553-1620

In an effort to meet growing enrollment needs, officials from the Chicago Public Schools, the Public Building Commission and the Chicago Park District gathered with community leaders to break ground for a new $17.6 million middle school at 3729 W. Leland Ave.

CPS Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan did the honors at the site, to be temporarily named Haugan Middle School, with Public Building Commission Executive Director Kevin Gujral, Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) and Chicago Park District General Superintendent Timothy J. Mitchell. The school project will house approximately 115,200 square feet on 4.41 acres, including the adjacent Jensen Park. The middle school will accommodate roughly 900 students and will be completed in the fall of 2005.

The project will include 29 standard academic classrooms, six special education classrooms, a science classroom, a music room, an art room, an administrative center, a learning resource center, a nurse and student services center and a student dining room. The Chicago Park District will share the school’s multi-purpose room and gymnasium.

“The Northwest Side has experienced a growing population so we are pleased to begin construction of a much-needed Chicago public school,” said Duncan. “The Public Building Commission and the Park District have been tremendous partners on this project.”

Haugan Middle School will be fully accessible to people with disabilities and will include a state-of-the-art computer network. The exterior will feature a three-story brick, pre-cast panel and dimension stone construction with ornamental metal fencing and landscaping.

“The creation of Haugan Middle School in Jensen Park is an example of city agencies working together to improve communities,” Mitchell said. “This new facility will benefit area youth by enabling the Park District to provide additional after-school opportunities.”

The new school will encompass environmentally conscious “green technology” incorporated into the design. The roof has steel framing so that solar panels can be added at a later date. It also includes a partial “green roof,” or rooftop garden that can be viewed by occupants. In addition to the new school, a new playground, spray pool, baseball field, basketball court and picnic area will be constructed at Jensen Park.

Since 1995, Chicago Public Schools has facilitated more than $4 billion in new school construction projects with more than 30 new schools, 60 annexes, 100 campus parks and roughly 2,000 upgrade and repair projects on existing school buildings.

OWP/P Architects designed the project, which is being managed by the Public Building Commission. The architect is STL Architects and the general contractor is F.H. Paschen.

The Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third-largest school district and the second-largest employer in Illinois, with more than 46,000 employees. The school system operates 600 schools and serves 434,000 students.