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Public Playing Field, Running Track Behind Wicker's Pritzker School Planned

By Alisa Hauser | May 9, 2017 9:48am
 Renderings of a proposed play and ball field behind Pritzker School.
A.N. Pritzker School Proposed Outdoor Expansion
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WICKER PARK — A plan to build an artificial turf playing field with a running track behind A.N. Pritzker School has received support from Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), who says he'll allocate money from his infrastructure budget for the amenities.

Moreno said Tuesday he supports putting "Play on Pritzker," behind the school, 2009 N. Schiller St. in Wicker Park. The 41,000-square-foot field and track would also be open to the public.

"I reviewed the plans and they are fantastic. I will be allocating significant [infrastructure] dollars to help support this project that will benefit the school and community," Moreno said. 

Moreno said the amount of money he'll allocate from his discretionary infrastructure budget is "to be determined." A CPS spokesman was not immediately available for comment on whether CPS would be contributing money to the project.

A community meeting and open house hosted by Moreno, Pritzker School Principal Joenile Albert-Reese and members of Friends of Pritzker, the school's parent-led fundraising group, is set for 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at the school, according to a flyer.

Elsewhere in the 1st Ward, Moreno contributed $175,000 from his 2016 infrastructure budget to cover half the cost of a pair of stoplights near Mariano's in Ukrainian Village on the far southern edge of the ward.

Each Chicago aldermen gets $1.3 million every year to spend as he or shee sees fit to fix up roads, sidewalks or fund other projects designed to spruce up their wards.

Designed by Pritzker parent Shabbir Chandabhai, who is also the owner of Burhani Design Architects, the  schoolyard plan would replace Pritzker's existing asphalt play lot with a turf field (for soccer, kickball, softball, etc.), playground, basketball and four-square courts, and a running track.

Chandabhai declined to reveal the cost of the field.

"Since we are at a very conceptual stage, we refrain from disclosing anything related to costs of the project as this time. However, at the community meeting we may disclose a ballpark figure," Chandabhai said.

Chandabhai added the cost cannot be determined until there is more information on what's under the school's existing asphalt play lot, and what kind of drainage systems would be needed before installing the proposed artificial turf and other amenities.

Rendering of proposed Play on Pritzker aerial view [Burhani Design Architects]

Green space to augment Pritker's existing garden [Burhani Design Architects]

Rendering of four-square courts and playground. [Burhani Design Architects]

Pick-up and drop-off lane rendering [Burhani Design Architects]

Play on Pritzker field rendering [Burhani Design Architects]