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CPS Halts 'Inadvertent' Order For $535,000 In AC Units For Closing School

By Sam Cholke | March 6, 2017 2:31pm
 The former Wadsworth Elementary School building will be empty in the fall after the Univeristy of Chicago's charter school moves into its new home.
The former Wadsworth Elementary School building will be empty in the fall after the Univeristy of Chicago's charter school moves into its new home.
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Flickr/WBEZ

WOODLAWN — CPS officials said Monday that plans to do $535,000 in work to install air conditioners in a school that would be empty before the summer was “inadvertent.”

Michael Passman, a spokesman for CPS, said Monday that CPS would cancel building permits from Feb. 23 to install air conditioners at the University of Chicago’s Woodlawn Charter School, 6420 S. University Ave.

The school is expected to be empty after school lets out on June 16 and the 592 the 6th through 12th graders move into their new building at 1101 E. 63rd St.

“There are no active contracts for this work — it's not happening,” Passman said in an email. “This building was inadvertently included in a group of schools that are on track to receive AC, and it is has been pulled from that list.”

Passman made his comments after a DNAinfo story about the plans to install the air conditioners appeared earlier Monday. His statement did not say when CPS caught the mistake and halted the plans for the school.

RELATED: School To Get $535,000 In Air Conditioners Just Before It Closes

There are currently no public plans to reuse the school or sell it and Passman was unable to provide an update on what would happen to the building.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2014 promised to install air conditioning in every school and the charter school was on a list put out in April of the final 61 schools to get air conditioners.

Passman said CPS will spend no money on air conditioning at the building.

Officials from the U. of C. charter school were not immediately able to say whether staff had seen any work done already on the air conditioning.

U. of C. turned down an offer to buy the building from CPS, opting instead to build a $27.5 million new school on city-owned land, in part because of the work needed on the building, which CPS estimated in 2012 to cost at least $3.9 million.

The school has been half full since 2013, when CPS combined the Wadsworth and Dumas elementary schools in the Dumas building at 6650 S. Ellis Ave.