New Southwest Side elementary school moves forward with measure taken by PBC of Chicago’s Board of Commissioners

Kevin Smith, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

A new elementary school on Chicago’s Southwest Side will move forward, and a series of new playgrounds will be pursued, under the measures taken today by the Public Building Commission of Chicago’s Board of Commissioners.

With the board’s action, construction is expected to begin in a matter of weeks on the new Brighton Park I Area Elementary School, to be located at 3456 W. 38th Street. The new $23 million school is expected to open to students in the fall of 2010.

“The new school will have a great impact on the educational opportunities within the Brighton Park community,” said Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission. “Specific features such as science and computer laboratories, a library/media center and art and music classrooms as well as athletic amenities will be tremendous resources for students, teachers and the surrounding community.”

Construction of the new Brighton Park I Area Elementary School will follow a standard design, bringing the neighborhood a three-story, 105,000 square foot structure built using steel frame and masonry construction. The new school is intended to serve 900 students. Beyond traditional classrooms, the new school will include science and computer laboratories, music and art classrooms, a library, a gymnasium, dining facilities and additional outdoor athletic and recreation spaces.

The school’s design targets “Silver” level LEED for Schools certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards. Sustainable features of the building will include a green roof that uses drought resistant plants, a plumbing system that reduces water consumption and a construction plan that calls for the diversion of construction waste from landfills and the use of recycled materials in the building’s construction, as well as an aggressive stormwater management system.

Work on the new school will move forward with today’s vote by the Board of Commissioners to award the construction contract to F.H. Paschen, SN Nielsen & Associates LLC of Chicago. The firm, which submitted the lowest of seven qualified bids, has committed to Minority-owned Business Enterprise participation of approximately 24 percent and Women-owned Business Enterprise participation of approximately four percent.

The Board also approved a request from the Chicago Park District to formulate the scope, schedule and budget for the construction of four new playground facilities at Marquette Park at 6743 S. Kedzie, Piotrowski Park at 4247 W. 31st St., Bromann Park at 5400 N. Broadway and Lincoln Park at Hollywood Avenue and North Lake Shore Drive.

The work is expected to include new playground equipment and rubberized soft surfacing, with the play areas to meet or exceed standards set under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The PBC manages the development of new construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its other sister agencies. Mayor Richard M. Daley serves as the PBC’s chairman. Additional information about the PBC and its projects is available at the agency’s Web site: