As you know, for many years we worked with hundreds of local families and the Abraham Lincoln Elementary Local School Council to solve the significant overcrowding at Lincoln Elementary School, which is nearly 200 students past its occupancy limits. Ultimately, we achieved full funding for a new addition to Lincoln Elementary.
In order to construct the annex, the Public Building Commission (PBC) sought and obtained approval for an "administrative adjustment," from the City's Zoning department. The administrative adjustment allowed for the building to be set back further on the lot to allow space to build a play structure at ground level in front of the school annex.
This decision was initially appealed to the City's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) in August 2014, which found that the administrative adjustment had been properly granted.
Unfortunately, the ZBA's findings were appealed again, this time to the Circuit Court of Cook County. Last week, after several months of legal proceedings, the Circuit Court again upheld the grant of the initial administrative adjustment.
The court ruling ensures that there are no legal obstacles to the completion of the Lincoln Elementary School Annex in time for the 2015/16 school year. This is important because the current temporary arrangement for overflow classrooms at DePaul University will end this year. Instead, families can look forward to needed new classrooms, a new computer lab and music room, a new dining center, a play structure and a rooftop play area this fall!
Working together, we were able to solve the overcrowding issue, and I look forward to continued collaboration with the community and school leaders throughout the ward. We must ensure our schools have the resources they need to provide a top-notch education for our children.
Finally, I want to thank the Lincoln parents and neighbors for your incredible efforts and commitment to the improvement of our community, and to thank DePaul University, which has accommodated several grades for the past two years. The Lincoln Elementary School Annex is an achievement of which we can all be proud.