PBC Puts New Cuffe Construction On Fast Track

Terry Levin, (312) 744-9277

Bidders are being sought by the Public Building Commission (PBC) to build the new Paul Cuffe Elementary School so the building can be completed and open to students for the 2003-2004 school year.

The bids are due on Nov. 1 and actual construction will begin as early as possible next spring, according to PBC executive director Eileen Carey. Construction of the replacement school, a $17 million project, is estimated to take about 16 months.

“Mayor Daley understands the urgent need for this new school and made it clear he wants the project to proceed with all deliberate speed,” said Carey, who noted that Daley also chairs the PBC.

Although the Chicago Board of Education managed the original planning for the project, school officials asked the PBC to oversee the actual construction in a transfer accepted by the PBC board in July. Since then, the project has been fast-tracked with the hiring of professional consultants, completion of the architectural plans and issuing of the bid requests.

The future three-story school and grounds, to be located on the 8300 and 8400 blocks of South Racine Avenue, will feature 26 regular classrooms; specialized art, music, computer and science rooms; a gymnasium with handicapped-accessible bleachers; a full-service dining hall; a resource center (library) with Internet connections; and central air conditioning.

The school grounds, which will extend through 84th Street, will include landscaping and two play areas adjacent to the building and, beyond, a teachers’ parking lot for more than 50 cars.

The entire building will be in compliance with the American Disabilities Act, including elevators for persons with disabilities.

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