CPS Wants Input on How to Use Vacant Buildings

Site soliciting suggestions will later be updated with summary of submitted proposals

Have an idea as to what can be done with more than 40 Chicago school buildings that were closed last year? Chicago Public Schools would like to hear from you.

A new website -- http://cps.edu/repurposingourbuildings -- contains a list of and information about the properties that were vacated and allows a way for members of the public and community groups to submit their suggestions.

"Each neighborhood has their own vision for these buildings, and we look forward to hearing their proposals of how we can find a new use that boosts economic activity and cultural vibrancy for the community," schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a press release announcing the new site.

The site comes a month after the city launched an Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development. That group recommended that the buildings first be considered for use by CPS, community groups or other organizations before being put on the market for sale.

"In looking at the best possible ways to approach the repurposing plan for shuttered CPS locations, the committee considers having a seamless and inclusive process - that considers maximum positive community impact - its first and foremost priority," said Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), who chairs the city's Committee on Education and Child Development.

A summary of submitted proposals will later be posted on the site for public review, officials said.

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