Wells talks language academy to fill classrooms

Enrollment dropped by 90 students to 467 at Wells High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.

East Village Association board minutes for Oct. 12, 2015, by Michael VanDam

Library restoration

Jordan Marie received an e-mail from the city Department of Buildings saying it would cost $1.5 million to restore the city-owned Goldblatt's Building at 1625 W. Chicago Ave. Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo mentioned that the building was restored only in 1999. However, windows appear to have been out of the renovation's scope.

Wells High School

Stephen Rynkiewicz will check with a representative from Wells Community Academy to present at the Nov. 2 membership meeting. A drop in enrollment will cost $900,000 this school year, and if not reversed makes Wells a potential target for closing.

The high school at 936 N. Ashland Ave. has a number of turnaround options. It has offered to host a citywide language academy, and already provides programs in teaching, logistics and law.

The open-enrollment school competes against charter schools with advance placement and college-credit courses, electives and after-school activities. Last year Wells secured $4 million in scholarships for graduates.

Business Minute

Michael VanDam mentioned the possibility of LLL vintage clothing, 1931 W. Chicago Ave., presenting at the November meeting. He will reach out to the owner.

Neighborhood survey

Rynkiewicz mentioned the possibility of setting up a SurveyMonkey poll to gather neighborhood input on planning ideas and priorities. This brought up the need to offer more educational information to the general membership on zoning, moratoriums, licensing and schools.

Planning Preservation & Development

Development to replace the Ace Hardware at 1013 N. Ashland Ave. is seeking an upzone, but would remain in the business/ mixed-use category.

Scott Rappe inquired about landmark preservation in the city's most recent Transit Oriented Development proposal. According to 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly’s office, there still may be room for the ordinance to be amended if protections need to be augmented.

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