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Latino State News

UPDATE: CPS Agrees to Build Library at Whittier Elementary

Monday, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) agreed to lease the field house next to Whittier Elementary School to a community group for $1 a year and build a library inside the school.

Since September 15th, parents of the Pilsen school children have been occupying the run-down field house in hopes of forcing CPS to turn it into a library rather than tear it down. CPS officials have said the building is not up to code and dangerous, and that it would be cheaper to convert the space to a sports field than to bring it up to code and change it to a library and resource center.

ImageThe compromise CPS proposed would have a library built inside the school and the field house leased to a community group for $1. That group would be responsible for getting the building up to code.

CPS CEO Ron Huberman said, “We believe that this proposal for the field house is a good-faith effort to continue work we have completed on behalf of Whittier students.”

However, not all protesters and parents are satisfied with the offer.

Whittier parent committee member Evelin Santos said, “No, no and no. There’s no space whatsoever. Where’s the library going to fit?”

Huberman and other CPS officials are said to be meeting with the parents on Wednesday to discuss the offer’s specifics.

“We don’t trust them,” Caroline Gaetz, a parent said. “We don’t trust them to negotiate behind us or…come up with solutions that we were never included in.”