Mayor Daley Opens New School In Austin Community

Parents, Local School Council On Hand for Open House

Michael Vaughn, CPS Office of Communications, (773) 553-1624
Fax: 773.553-1621

Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Barbara Eason-Watkins, CPS Chief Education Officer students, parents and teachers today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new Edward K. “Duke” Ellington Elementary School, 243 North Parkside Avenue.

The new school replaces two buildings that used to house Ellington students-a main building at 224 N. Central Ave. and a branch school at 241 N. Central Ave. Now, all 500 students, kindergartners through sixth-graders, are together in the new $18 million facility whose construction was overseen by the Public Building Commission of Chicago.

Ellington opened its doors this past Monday, January 31, 2005, which marked the beginning of the second semester of school year 2004-2005.

“This is the fourth new school building to open in Chicago this school year-the second here in the Austin community,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said. “And we owe a big thank-you to the taxpayers of Chicago for their support in helping to give our children the best possible learning environments.”

“I think we all owe Mayor Daley and the Public Building Commission a big thank you for helping bring this beautiful new school to the Austin community,” said Eason-Watkins. “The right learning environment is so important to a child’s academic success, and the Ellington community can now send their children to school knowing that the best resources available are waiting for them.”

Claremont Academy, 2300 W. 64th St.; De Priest Elementary School, 139 S. Parkside Ave.; and North-Grand High School, 4338 W. Wabansia Ave., opened in September. The Public Building Commission oversaw construction of all three schools.

The new Ellington School, which has 28 classrooms and a capacity of about 1,050 students, also includes a separate computer lab, science lab, art room, and music room; a state-of-the-art computer network; an environmentally friendly roof that features a garden area over the gymnasium; an elevator and full accessibility to people with disabilities. It also includes special features that pay homage to legendary musician who is its namesake: a keyboard design on the hallway floors, musical notes on the tree grates outside the building, and a full performance stage in the gymnasium.

The Chicago Public Schools is the nation’s third-largest school district. It includes more than 600 schools and serves more than 431,000 students.

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