EVA Monday: 13th District police station alert

The working group charged with finding new uses for the 13th District police station will be looking for feedback from East Village Association members Aug. 6, the night before an appointment with City Hall.

The site's disposition has not been settled, and no demolition permit has been issued for the station house. But the 1st Ward working group has identified a range of uses for the site at 937 N. Wood St. and is circulating an online survey to gauge support for ideas that have surfaced so far.

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno meets Aug. 7 with the working group and representatives of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Police. The Wood Street station is set to close in late fall when officers move to an expanded Monroe (12th) District station house at 1412 S. Blue Island Ave.

"Ald. Moreno secured a commitment from the mayor that the space will remain 'for the benefit of the community,'" said Ronda Locke in a statement as Moreno's community outreach director. Locke is a member of the working group with Peter Frisbee, Catherine Garypie, Grace Rappe and Audrey Rath. Locke and Rappe are former EVA officers.

The building requires several million dollars in accessibility renovations to remain viable, the survey states. Fundraising likely would be required, as well as city and ward capital. Potential reuses named in the survey include a police substation, police or children's museum, arts studio, community language facility, exhibition or meeting space and shared offices for nonprofit groups.

The park district will be asked to look at outdoor uses, which could involve razing the building. The survey gathers public input on a dog park, walking track, playground and courts for tennis and other games, as well as an amphitheater, community garden, shared bicycle or auto station and electric vehicle charging site.

Private development of the Wood Street site is also an option, judging from the survey. A land swap for Chicago Avenue property is one option in the online poll.

EVA is co-sponsor of a 13th District recognition event Sept. 8 at St. Helen Church, 2315 W. Augusta Blvd. A planning meeting is set for noon Aug. 5 at the police station.

EVA members can bring their questions and preferences to the working group at 7 pm Monday in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. The August meeting is not a barbecue as in past years: Watch for details on the Aug. 19 EVA block party on the 800 block of North Winchester Avenue. Members of neighboring community groups are invited to the late-afternoon event.

Take the online survey here.
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