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Gale Academy Gets $35,000 From State for New Security Cameras

 The Gale Math and Science Academy annex building at 7650 N. Marshfield Ave.
The Gale Math and Science Academy annex building at 7650 N. Marshfield Ave.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Gale Math and Science Academy received $35,000 from a state agency to install new security cameras around the school after school leaders complained they were broken, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy said Monday in a statement.

For years, Gale's Local School Council has pleaded with Chicago Public Schools to replace the cameras and fix other facility problems at the school, such as a faulty fire alarm system and peeling lead paint.

Cassidy said she met with Gale Principal Cassandra Washington and the LSC and told them to apply for a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

Not until recently, when community protest grew louder, did CPS begin correcting some of the problems at the school's main building, at 1631 W. Jonquil Terrace, and at its newer annex across the street, at 7650 N. Marshfield Ave.

The main building's fourth floor, which school leaders said contained peeling lead paint, has been entirely closed down as workers begins to scrape and repaint, LSC member Kyle Hillman said Monday.

Hillman said the cameras were sorely needed, especially after a teenager and a 22-year-old man were shot near the school in the past year.

Blake Lamb, 22, was shot and killed in Willye B. White Park in July 2013, and Keno Glass, 16, was shot and killed in April in the 7600 block of North Ashland Avenue.

Both shootings were a block away from the school.

"While cameras won't stop the senseless violence in Rogers Park, hopefully they provide enough deterrent to provide a safer environment for our kids to learn," Hillman said in a statement.

Hillman said half of the cameras "didn’t record, so it wasn’t very effective." He said he expected the installation of the cameras to be finished this week.

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