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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

New Uptown Elementary School Gym Opposed By Homeowners Group The Focus Of 2 Upcoming Meetings

McCutcheon Elementary is one of five Chicago Public Schools without its own gym.

Kids at an Uptown elementary school need a gym, but owners of nearby mansions say it would come too close to their subdivision.
Jonathan Ballew / Block Club Chicago
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UPTOWN — McCutcheon Elementary is one of five Chicago Public Schools without its own gym, but local aldermen and the City of Chicago want to change that. A nearby homeowners association, however, has attempted to block the proposed construction project.

On Saturday and Monday, Chicago United for Equity will be hosting discussions about the proposed gym and collecting information from neighbors for a “Racial Equity Impact Assessment.”

RELATED: Uptown Kids Need A New Gym, And Aldermen Say They’ll Fight Mansion Owners ‘Tooth And Nail’ To Make It Happen

Chicago United for Equity focuses on racial equity within neighborhoods and works to facilitate community-driven processes when it comes to local policies.

A “Racial Equity Impact Assessment” asks a series of questions to community members to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of a project or policy to the surrounding community.

The assessment is used by Chicago United for Equity to advocate for the community with government leaders and policy directors.

There are two meetings with different locations. Residents can RSVP here.

The first meeting is from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at 4730 N. Sheridan Rd.

The second meeting is from 6-9 p.m. Monday at 4956 N. Sheridan Rd.

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided and translation services and childcare will be available. The space is also ADA accessible.

The Castlewood Terrace Association — a nearby homeowners association dedicated to preserving the area’s historic mansions — has sued the Public Building Commission of Chicago over what they say is a broken covenant between neighbors and the school.

Currently, McCutcheon has no gym and students walk down the block to the local Boys and Girls Club for recreational activities.

When weather doesn’t permit, students often have recess indoors. Some special education students are carried by staff members up and down stairs so they can participate with their peers.

Alds. James Cappleman (46th) and Harry Osterman (48th) have both pledged their support toward the gym, despite objections from Castlewood neighbors.

Many have called the battle for a new gym a class issue as McCutcheon is located on a fault line between low-income housing and large single family mansions.

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