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"Critical" facility needs in Chicago Public Schools amount to $3.1 billion

Oct. 2, 2023
In its latest Facilities Master Plan, the school system identified its most urgent building needs.

Chicago Public Schools need $3.1 billion to make “critical” building repairs in the next five years, the district's facilities master plan says.

Block Club Chicago reports that the $3.1 billion is part of $14.4 billion in updates that the district has identified in its Facilities Master Plan.

“In a district as large as ours, and with a building portfolio as old as ours, this is the investment it would take to repair and modernize each and every one of our current facilities and give our students the learning environment we know they deserve,” Schools CEO Pedro Martinez wrote in the plan’s introduction. 

The $3.1 billion in costs identified as the most urgent work includes repairs to windows, roofs, masonry, and heating and cooling systems. Another $5.5 billion would be needed for repairs in the next six to 10 years, according to the plan. Beyond that, the district wants money to build labs “to support STEM education,” accommodations for students with disabilities, new auditoriums, new fields for sports, and classrooms “outfitted” for career and technical education.

Martinez used the plan to make another plea for more funding and “partnerships” from the city, state, and federal government. Martinez plans to press the state for more money as a way to address costs once Covid relief dollars run out in 2024. 

“This plan will take coalitions and partnerships with our fellow officials at the city, state, and federal levels,” he wrote. “It will take administrators, teachers, parents, students, and advocates pushing for the changes we need.”

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