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Rogers Park's Waldorf School Proposes Move to Trumbull

By Benjamin Woodard | August 28, 2014 5:36am
 Chicago Waldorf School at 1300 W. Loyola Ave.
Chicago Waldorf School at 1300 W. Loyola Ave.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — Chicago Waldorf School has proposed to move its campus to the shuttered Lyman Trumbull Elementary School in Andersonville.

But the 525-student private school also is considering to expand its campus on Loyola Avenue to stay in the neighborhood its called home for 20 years, said Luke Goodwin, the school's administrative director.

"That’s certainly not a definite that we’re moving or leaving Rogers Park," he said. "We would love to be able to stay in Rogers Park."

The school was among the nine interested buyers of Trumbull revealed by Ald. Pat O'Connor on Tuesday. Edgewater's Chicago Jewish Day School also proposed moving to the school.

Goodwin said Waldorf, which serves students from birth to 12th grade, had outgrown its 60,000-square-foot campus at 1300 W. Loyola Ave. Its high school cohort had grown 30 percent in the past two years.

Now, the school could in the matter of months move to empty Trumbull or Stewart schools, if approved. Or Waldorf could "expand our building in partnership with" its the landlord, the Archdiocese of Chicago, Goodwin said.

Thomas Kennedy, director of real estate management and development for the Archdiocese, said he was "in conversations" with Waldorf.

"The School recently signed a three-year lease extension through June of 2017," he said. "We are in discussions with the school for a further lease expansion and additional space."

If the school does move outside of the neighborhood, it could alienate some of its students.

Goodwin said 26 percent of students live in Rogers Park, including many who walk to school, while another 24 percent travel from Evanston.

Goodwin said Waldorf was also comfortable with moving to a location closer to Downtown.

At Trumbull, which boasts more than 90,000 square feet of space, Waldorf would share the space with the community and possibly businesses, he said.

But he stressed that the school would "be really happy" to stay on Loyola Avenue.

"We’ve forged a relationship with this local neighborhood here," he said of Rogers Park. "We’d have to forge that new" in another neighborhood.

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