In the meantime, there has been a raging debate by local residents, Alderman Fioretti, CPS and other government officials on what to do with the old building. At one point we heard it was going to be demolished.
Local residents and Alderman Fioretti would like it to be converted into a high school for local residents. Joravsky discusses the history of the high school and where it currently stands in his article. He also has a prediction of what may or may not happen:
Fioretti says he recently learned that CPS has created an internal panel to study the problem, but it doesn't include the alderman or community residents.
Image from Chicago Reader (EILEEN MESLER)
Translation: CPS officials are stalling for time while the mayor figures out what to do.
"The boundaries for a new school would go from about 35th on the south to Grand on the north, Ashland on the west, and the lake" on the east, says Fioretti. "We keep saying, 'If you build it, they will come.'"
I predict that if Fioretti and residents apply enough pressure, the mayor will call a press conference to announce he wants to turn Jones into a neighborhood school because it's really important to keep the middle class in Chicago—like it was his idea all along. Sort of like the press conferences he's called to declare his newfound support for gay marriage, gun control, and immigrants' rights. Don't say he's not adaptable.Which brings us to an anonymous email we got yesterday from a reader (and we're paraphrasing a little):
Alderman Bob Fioretti is hoping to hold a press conference at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting at 530 S. State Street around 6PM. The goal is to have the old Jones High School in the background (with the assumption that the press conference is to talk about the old high school.Hmmmm, maybe Joravsky's prediction is correct? Or maybe this is Fioretti's attempt to bring a bigger spotlight on the issue? We will see.