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Little Village leaders meet with schools president

On Monday November 20th, six members of the Little Village Pro-Park Committee met with President of the Chicago Board of Education, Mr. Rufus Williams to discuss the demolition of the Washburne Trade School Building to make way for park space.

Photo: Little Village Community Development Corporation

Chicago Public Schools President Rufus Williams, center, met with representatives from Little Village. 

The building is owned by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and is a potential site for a park that the community has been advocating for. The building was to be demolished last year by CPS because of its condition, but those plans came to a halt after the State of Illinois decided a study had to be conducted to determine the building's historic preservation status. That study concluded last year that the building was not going to be protected under a historic value classification.

The Washburne site at 3100 S. Kedzie covers two square blocks and has been vacant for years. LVCDC is trying to raise $5 million for demolition as part of its Little Village Park Campaign.  

The committee, brought together by LVCDC Organizer Nelson Benitez,  emphasized to Williams that the building is not only an eyesore and danger to the community, but also stands in the way of a new park. Williams made a commitment to work with the community members and promised to respond in two weeks with a timeline for the fate of the old trade school.

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