May 24, 2017

Riverfront Park Planning Study, High School Athletic Field Approved for Southwest and Northwest Sides


Financial measures approved today by City Council will enable development of a new high school athletic field in West Town and a study to convert a portion of the Fisk coal plant on the Lower West Side into a riverfront park.

Throop Street River Park, Chicago River at Throop Street
The development of a $120,000 plan for a proposed Throop Street River Park in the Pilsen Industrial Corridor will be supported through $40,000 in Open Space Impact Fees (OSIF). The funds will be used to study the potential for creating the park on a 1.5-acre vacant portion of the of the former Fisk site. Coordinated by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the plan will develop an implementation strategy for the park along the north bank of the South Branch of the Chicago River, including possible trails, wildlife habitats, overlooks, and landscaping. The plan will also include a budget and potential funding sources. The remainder of the study costs would be provided through a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Zone Management Program. The community-based planning process is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the end of 2017.

The OSIF program collects fees associated with the construction of new residential projects to apply to the open space needs of surrounding neighborhoods.

Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.
An OSIF in the amount of $1.7 million will support the construction of a 0.6-acre combination soccer and baseball field at Wells Academy High School in West Town. The $3.4 million project for students and community residents will involve the removal of pavement and concrete at the rear of the school, installation of a drainage system, artificial turf, netting, fencing, walkways, and accessibility upgrades. The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will also contribute $1.7 million to the project. The school is named in honor of former CPS superintendent William Harvey Wells.


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