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Englewood Alderman Supports Proposal for a Lindblom Elementary School

By Wendell Hutson | January 8, 2014 6:46am
	A proposal is underway to use the shuttered Earle Elememtary School building for a new elementary school.
A proposal is underway to use the shuttered Earle Elememtary School building for a new elementary school.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

WEST ENGLEWOOD — A proposal to reopen the former Earle Elementary School building as a new school has the support of Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th).

Foulkes said Alan Mather, the principal at Lindblom Math & Science Academy, a selective enrollment high school, wants to use the vacant Earle building at 6151 S. Hermitage Ave. to open an elementary school version of Lindblom. The new school would serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade and could be up and running as soon as 2015, she said.

In a letter sent last month to Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Foulkes said she supports the proposal.

"I like to lend my support to the proposal for opening a new elementary school using the former Earle School building," Foulkes said in the letter.

Foulkes said she hasn't heard back from Byrd-Bennett.

Last year Earle was consolidated with Elaine Goodlow Elementary, 2040 W. 62nd St., after CPS deemed the old Earle building underutilized. It was among dozens of schools consolidated or shuttered by the nation's third largest school district.

Joel Hood, a spokesman for CPS, said a final decision hasn't been made on using any of the vacant buildings resulting from last year's school closings.

"The Advisory Committee for School Repurposing and Community Development continues to work on recommendations for a viable process for school repurposing that will have positive impacts on the community," Hood said. "While CPS has received a number of ideas for the repurposing of school buildings, we are awaiting the advisory committee's recommendations before reviewing any outside proposals."

Lindblom already has a middle school with seventh- and eighth-graders, who Foulkes said would move over to the Earle building if the proposal is approved.

Foulkes also said Mather's proposal includes having a community center inside the school for residential use.

"As long as the school is not a charter, I am fine with it. That is what my constituents do not want and that is what I support also," she said.

Mather was unavailable for comment.