Tuesday, February 27, 2018

South Side Weekly: Repurposing Shedd School #Ward09

Shedd School on Christmas Day 2017
Sorry to have missed out on this article from last year, it's still a contentious issue after almost five years. What to do with the former Shedd School. Well there were some proposals that were rejected:
The Rescue Missionary Christian School then presented their information to the district and 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, along with another bidder (“We never got a name. All we knew was that it was a [housing] developer,” Tucker said). Both bids were rejected. “The highest bidder did not get community approval so my thought was, ‘Shouldn’t it go to the second highest bidder since you only had two?’ But no, he rejected both bids and put it back up for sale. At least that’s the story we got,” said Tucker.

In fact, because Shedd was not officially considered one of the schools closed in 2013, there was no district requirement for community input or public meetings at the time (now, that requirement has been lifted for many schools closed in 2013 as well).

According to Beale, the bid by the Rescue Missionary Christian School was denied because he felt they did not have “the resources to accomplish what the community is looking to have done,” he said. “If the building needs redoing, they really don’t have the capital to rehab the building, keep up with the maintenance of the building, keep up with the landscaping, all those types of things.”

According to a Freedom of Information Act request, Shedd Elementary accumulated approximately $5,430 in gas and electricity costs from July 2015 to June 2016, which has residents wondering why taxpayers are still paying to keep the lights on in a closed building.

Beale explained that some buildings are secured by alarm systems. “You don’t want a school just sitting there open. You might want to make sure the heat stays at a certain temperature so the pipes don’t freeze. There’s a lot of things going on, just because a building is vacant doesn’t mean that there’s no activity in the building. There’s still a light amount of maintenance being done,” he said.

The building is still in good condition and has yet to become an eyesore in the neighborhood. But residents still want to see the building repurposed.
Too bad they didn't send a photographer to this property. When the weather warms up and the leaves on trees grow ago there are vines growing on what used to the the kindergarten class room. That's an eyesore enough although yes, the building itself may well still remain in good condition. Here's hoping a satisfactory plan will be created for the former Shedd School.