LITTLE VILLAGE — Students at a Little Village high school will soon have a new turf field, basketball court and other athletic upgrades.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other officials gathered at Farragut Career Academy, 2345 S. Christiana Ave., Tuesday morning to break ground on the projects. Little Village leaders said they hope the $16.6 million investment will help keep the neighborhood’s kids safe from violence.
The field will be built steps from where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was killed by a Chicago police officer last year.
“In order for us to meet our mission, we need projects like this new turf field
to boost morale and show our students and this community that they too deserve the best,” Farragut Principal Tonya Hammaker said.
The project, which is being funded by a mix of state and Chicago Public Schools money, includes a new turf soccer field, a basketball court, a scoreboard, a ball catcher, netting and bleachers, officials said. A new classroom, teaching lab, resource center and study room to support the high school’s International Baccalaureate Program will be built in a second phase of construction.
The first phase is expected to be completed the fall and the second phase by fall 2023.
Lightfoot said she heard young people in Little Village wanted more outdoor spaces in their neighborhood after Toledo’s death.
“What was resoundingly clear in the various conversations that we had are a couple of things: Too many young people in this community felt isolated and alone.
Safe public spaces that are taken for granted in other parts of our city, we heard from youth of this community, were in short supply,” Lightfoot said.
“All of our residents, no matter where they live in our city deserve to have access to enriching, open spaces to play, learn and grow, and Little Village deserves no less,” she said.
Ximena Torres, a Farragut freshman, said the new field and court will be put to good use.
“I think we can all collectively agree that any money spent on our city’s youth is money well spent,” she said.
The Farragut groundbreaking comes days after Lightfoot issued orders moving up minors’ curfews to 10 p.m. on weekends and requiring minors to be accompanied by an adult after 6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at Millennium Park.
The decisions have been criticized, including by the ACLU.
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