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Intrinsic Charter Proposal Not in Hands of Community, Alderman Says

 Intrinsic's Belmont-Cragin campus.
Intrinsic's Belmont-Cragin campus.
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Whether Intrinsic Schools builds a campus in Bowmanville is not up to the community to decide, Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) told constituents in an email Thursday.

If Intrinsic opts to move forward with its plan for a charter school on four acres of land within Rosehill Cemetery, "community input will be helpful in shaping the project, but will not serve to approve or disapprove of the project itself," O'Connor said.

Representatives from Intrinsic, which already operates a campus at 4540 W. Belmont Ave., met with a small group of Bowmanville neighbors last month to outline their proposal for a 1,000-seat school that would enroll students in grades 7 through 12.

Residents expressed a number of concerns, including the impact on the community's existing public and parochial schools.

Intrinsic's proposal, along with a pair of Noble Charter schools proposed for Rogers Park and Uptown, faced immediate opposition from a coalition of North Side principals, elected officials and parents.

"The criteria for establishing a charter school has not remotely been met," Anna Pavichevich, principal of Amundsen High School, said of Intrinsic.

Noble Charter has since abandoned its plan for Rogers Park and Uptown.

Intrinsic is under contract to purchase the Rosehill parcel, which is owned by Service Corporation International. The land is part of an 11-acre plot that was rezoned in 2011 as a condition of SCI's agreement to sell 20 acres of cemetery land to the city for the West Ridge Nature Preserve, according to O'Connor.

The rezoning allows SCI to sell the 11 acres for specific uses: a school, senior housing or a church.

Though Intrinsic has yet to decide whether it will move forward with its application for a charter on the site, O'Connor noted, "The Intrinsic use conforms to both the existing zoning and the covenant that runs with the land."

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