Capital Improvements Planned for Palmer
Parents, students and community members were deeply concerned about the physical state of Palmer Elementary School—our Level 1+ rated neighborhood school. A failing roof, over-crowding in an outdated modular building and unsafe playground led to our community raising their collective voices to our elected officials and CPS.
Together over the past 2 years, we have mobilized a movement on behalf of Palmer. We have collected thousands of petition signatures requesting a new Greenspace. After creating a Friends of Palmer 501(c)3 non-profit organization, we held multiple fundraisers and recently in our Palmer Super Heroes walk-a-thon, raised $22,000 toward improvement efforts. We wrote grants to raise outside money for facilities improvements. We petitioned CPS, the Mayor’s office, our local Alderman, and the Board of Education with regular meetings, mailings, phone calls and emails to address the deteriorating state of our facilities. Together, we stood up in neighborhood meetings demanding action over the failing roof by our elected officials. And our Local School Council was behind our efforts every step of the way. We launched a website, facebook page and covered social media with our mission to have Palmer’s facilities equal the stellar performance of our students, teachers and staff. And you were heard!
In October 2017, CPS and Alderman Laurino announced $14 million would be allocated to a new roof for Palmer. Work began this summer and will continue with phase 2 being completed in the summer of 2019.
On Sunday, July 8th, Palmer Elementary was visited by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Laurino and CPS officials to announce plans for a $20 Million addition to be built starting in late summer 2019. Upon completion of the addition, the deteriorating modular building will be demolished and in its place, a new turf field, greenspace and playground will stand.
High quality schools are good for everyone. They help increase property values, ensure a well-educated community, help stabilize the tax base, increase demand for housing, and help grow economic development and increase traffic in business districts.
Our kids and our community deserved better. You knew it. And you mobilized, dug in and ensured our collective voices were heard. Thank you!
Capital Improvements at Palmer Elementary School
Parents, students, and community members are deeply concerned about the physical state of Palmer Elementary School. Several facilities-based issues have lingered for too long and are no longer acceptable.
Despite our failing facilities, our students, teachers, staff and parents have worked hard and are making great achievements, which have resulted in a Level 1+ rating, numerous awards and recognition. These conditions have lingered for too long without attention or action from our elected officials and those charged with protecting and nurturing our children.
Specifically, we need:
A new roof and subsequent building repairs, to prevent further water damage, mold, crumbling plaster to allow our students and staff full use of our classrooms, hallways, and school building.
A safe and modern addition that would replace the modular (a temporary structure) and annex buildings
New play equipment and turf field
High quality schools are good for everyone. They help increased property values, a ensure a well-educated community, help stabilize the tax base, increase demand for housing, and help grow economic development and increase traffic in business districts.
Our kids and our community deserve better.
Want to show your support? Sign the online petition and please share widely with friends, family and neighbors.
The Palmer school grounds are lively all week. On school days, more than 800 Palmer students utilize every inch of space for recess, gym class and before and after school activities.
Neighbors sit on benches under the canopy of trees on Argyle, chat with neighbors on dog walks and play Saturday ball near Carmen Avenue.
Unfortunately, the school grounds at the northeast corner of Kenneth and Argyle are run down, gravel-filled and unsafe for play. Palmer students and staff make do with the less than optimal field and playground, but they deserve better.
The Friends of Palmer Greenspace Committee formed in 2016 to plan and secure funding for a safe and new multi-use space that will include:
a new playground and equipment
a turf sports field
a community garden
Palmer achieved and maintains a 1+ rating, the highest rating a CPS school can achieve. We believe Palmer’s grounds outside should reflect the good works happening inside.
We hope you do, too. Can you help?
How to Help
The Palmer “field” is a gathering place for the entire neighborhood, carving out a very special place for all of us.