Based on their post, it sounds like there is some bureaucratic issues that need to be sorted out (SURPRISE!):
The paperwork is just starting to make its way through the bureaucracy, and is expected to have a more complicated tour of City Hall than most buildings. This is because of the redistricting of Chicago’s wards in 2012. It appears that the eastern portion of the building might be in William Burns’ Fourth Ward, while the western portion would be in Danny Solis’ 25th Ward.
The ward boundary doesn’t run down something easy like a street — it has a couple of weird angles in that area, so the school and the developers, McCaffery Roosevelt, have to wait while the city tries to figure out who’s turf is in play. That is important, of course, because of the public meetings. While CDOT and the Chicago Fire Department and other city agencies have been briefed on the school, the public has not.
We’ve already heard from some of the neighbors who are angry before they’ve even seen the plan. They believe the school will take the place of a public park they were promised.
Looking at the original documents for the Roosevelt Collection from 2006, the neighbors are right — they were promised a park. In fact, the developer is obligated to spend $2 million building the park. However, in all of the diagrams filed with the city, the park is on the west side of the project, not on the east side. So there may be room for both.
For what it’s worth, the building’s design appears to give the public some green space. The new school will be attached to the Roosevelt Collection structure so that a person can walk directly from the shops onto the roof of the school, which is designed to be a large garden.I'm sure everyone wants a park (we do)...but making it inline with the retail grade at Roosevelt Collection could be a smart solution. Probably not ideal, but interesting none-the-less.
Finally, a reader sent us a picture of a public notice sign that has been put up to make neighbors aware of this potential change (we assume). They say they're going to have neighborhood meetings to discuss this plan...we will keep you posted as we hear more.
(Hat tip: W & CJ!)