Sullivan High School is set to receive $25 million from Chicago Public Schools for much needed, top-down improvements to the 93-year old building at 6631 N. Bosworth Ave.
“This money for improving our infrastructure sends a clear message that our kids matter. These funds will mean we will be to give them a clean, safe, and dry environment for learning with no more peeling paint or stuff falling from the ceiling,” says Principal Chad Adams-Thomas.
Friends of Sullivan President Michael Glasser shared his excitement. “Completion of the roof means that the school can proceed with other important site improvements, such as completing its exciting new basketball court and better utilizing existing classrooms. With a water tight building, more awesome learning opportunities can happen inside.”
The capital improvement funds from CPS reflect the school system's current effort to re-invest in Chicago’s neighborhood schools. At Sullivan, the bulk of the money will be spent on a new roof, which will enable a wide range of badly needed water-damage repairs and improvements inside the building: new windows and floors, painting, etc. The project will have a “soft start” next spring with major work scheduled for the summer of 2020.
Also, importantly, included in this investment are funds for state of the art science labs – a key need at the school.
Adams-Thomas says he is “hoping” for an enrollment above 700 students for this fall’s new school year. Last year there were 625 students, served by a faculty and staff of 100. Many of Sullivan’s students are English Language Learners (refugees and immigrants) and the school has a strong population of students in its Low Incidence program, serving youth with autism and Down Syndrome.
While clearly pleased by the possibilities the funds provide, Adams-Thomas stresses that there is yet more work to be done. “We need to make the building more ADA accessible, which includes an elevator.”
Adams also allows it would be great to repair and reopen Sullivan’s swimming pool. Additionally, he says, he is working with the alderman’s office on creating a private investors’ partnership to create a “Sullivan green space” that includes a soccer field.”