Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined community leaders and educators at a ribbon cutting to welcome the new Leslie Lewis School campus park at 1431 North Leamington Avenue, on the West Side.
“These campus parks bring green space and play areas to school grounds, brightening the lives of the children and the surrounding community,” Daley said. “In the last five years, we’ve added nearly 100 campus parks that replace asphalt and concrete and provide schools with a child-friendly setting.”
The new campus park, built by the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) for the Chicago Public Schools in a joint effort with the Chicago Park District, replaces broken pavement with a play area and running/jogging path.
“Beautiful campus parks, such as this, help instill a sense of school pride among our student,” said Arne Duncan, CPS CEO. “We want to create as many reasons as possible to motivate our students to show up for school not only on the first day, but everyday.”
“In addition to our neighborhood parks, schools serve as community centers,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent David Doig. “The Campus Park program presents an opportunity to improve upon the school grounds and create an enjoyable and useful environment even when class isn’t in session.”
Kevin Gujral, PBC executive director, noted the landscaping brightens the area and gives it a warmer feeling. “Plantings and grounds improvements turn a schoolyard into a campus park,” Gujral said. “Here at Lewis, we’ve also closed Hirsch Street to cars to make the area safer for children to reach LaFollette Park.” More than 30 new trees, nearly 140 flowering shrubs, 800 perennial flowers and 4,000 ground cover plants were added to the grounds, Gujral said.
Additional amenities at the academy’s campus park include:
- Running/jogging path
- Benches and site furniture
- Ornamental lighting and fencing
- Ornamental trash receptacles
- Trash compactor to replace dumpsters