PBC Completes New Building for Belmont-Cragin Elementary School

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                  Bryant Payne – Public Building Commission,
January 17, 2023                                                                                                                                                                                               (312) 742-0878

The Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC), Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago Public School leaders join parents, teachers and students for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly constructed 83,000 square foot Belmont-Cragin Elementary School and Early Childhood Center. The new building, located on Fullerton and Meade Avenues, offers students access to a black box theater, a music room, a library, an art room, and 32 modern classrooms with scenic views of Riis Park.

“The school community has longed argued that a new building is necessary because the existing school was overcrowded, falling apart and couldn’t meet the demands of the neighborhood,” Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward) said. “The ribbon cutting for the official opening of the newly constructed Belmont-Cragin Elementary School was a culmination of several years of persistence on the parts of parents, teachers, administrators and advocates.”

The PBC oversaw the construction of the school’s new, three-story building which will accommodate approximately 500 students in preschool through eighth grade, with room to accept more. The $44 million building houses a number of classrooms, as well as science labs, a computer lab, an art room, a library and a gymnasium with a stage. An adjoining community center offers social and emotional learning workshops, dual-language instruction, and supportive services for immigrant families.

“This new school building, with a larger square footage to accommodate a growing school population, offers tremendous benefits to the surrounding neighborhood,” Carina E. Sanchez, PBC’s Executive Director said. “With direct connection to the adjacent Chicago Park District Fieldhouse building, the new building promotes community integration and synergy with shared-use programmatic features.”

The placement of the school’s site on the Park District’s Riis Park has triggered renovations within the fieldhouse. The shared-use gymnatorium will be accessible to Park District patrons within the school after-hours, weekends and summers. However circulation to the fieldhouse’s three levels remain independent from the school with lockable doors between the separate entities to meet Public Schools’ security standards during school hours.

The Belmont-Cragin Elementary School project achieved an 11.45% community hiring and exceed expectations for the hiring of minority and female journeyworkers, apprentices, laborers.

“Since 2013, this community has been advocating for a new school building that would hold space to bring all of the students together in one place, not fragmented in multiple different buildings. And guess what folks? Today, you got it done,” Mayor Lightfoot said.

About the PBC: The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Lori Lightfoot serves as the PBC’s Chairman. Carina E. Sanchez serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at www.pbcchicago.com. You can also follow the Public Building Commission of Chicago on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn