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Dunning 'Middle School' Sign Is 'Misinformation,' Alderman Says

By Alex Nitkin | September 14, 2017 12:48pm | Updated on September 15, 2017 11:43am
 The new school, set to hold about 1,300 students, is projected to open in fall 2019.
The new school, set to hold about 1,300 students, is projected to open in fall 2019.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

DUNNING — A sign heralding construction of a "middle school" next to the Dunning-Read Conservation Area area is "misinformation" that is "in the process of being corrected,"  38th Ward Ald. Nicholas Sposato posted on Facebook Wednesday.

The $75 million school, approved by Chicago Public Schools earlier this year, is set to host about 1,300 students when it opens in fall 2019.

But CPS has not clarified which students the school will serve. Officials have suggested it could open as a  campus for freshmens at Taft High School, 6530 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., while Dunning neighborhood groups have demanded a fully independent high school.

Bringing a new high school to Dunning was a key plank of Sposato's 2015 campaign, and he's since lobbied to see the school built as an antidote to school overcrowding on the Far Northwest Side.

But as of Thursday, the city's Public Building Commission website still listed the project as a "middle school."

For its part, CPS has been pining to build a school in the Read-Dunning area since at least 2003, according to district officials. A law passed in 2010 gave CPS a 10-year window to build on the land before control reverts back to the state, which still uses the open land tract to store salt and mulch.

Sposato wrote in his post that the new school may include an academic center for seventh- and eighth-graders, but that its ultimate use will be announced in fall 2018.

Still, the alderman is "100 percent sure" that the school will enroll any students who graduate from nearby Canty, Dever, Bridge and Smyser elementary schools, he added.

"As in the past, I will continue to host meetings regarding this development and look to the community for their input," Sposato wrote.

A CPS spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.