By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
After a $3.5 million dollar project announcement made back in January by Ald. Sophia King (4th), to help build a new track and football field at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., Kenwood’s Principal Dr. Gregory Jones said that the beginning stages of the project are currently in the works and he’s looking forward to construction to start in late Spring or Summer 2018.
“Our hope is that we start once the weather subsides getting into the spring season,” Principal Jones said about the construction of the project. “But the biggest challenge was trying to make and create a space that was suitable for all teams.”
Jones said the facilities and office of the Chicago Public Schools, the community, as well as the alderman’s office have met to work on the layout of the field. Jones also said that it “looks like the plan we agreed upon.”
“Alderman King came to Kenwood several months ago and she said we have to do something about this field space,” Jones said in a past issue of the Herald.
Jones also explained that the project for Kenwood’s future track and football field would be financed through public dollars and that the school will also seek private funding for a scoreboard for future events and not just for the home team representing the school.
Jones said that when it comes to the new project, smaller groups and the neighborhood would both be able to have access to the field. The field will be host to multiple events held in the community.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was also in attendance during the announcement back in January, said that King had come to him with a list of community updates and that Kenwood was at the top of the list.
The mayor told the students back in January, that success stems beyond just academics and that extracurricular activities such as sports are important for learning teamwork.
“We don’t just want you to be academically accomplished, we want you to be athletically accomplished,” Emanuel said in a past issue of the Herald. “This is just a further investment in the success your teachers and parents have already put in you.”
The new field will begin the designing phase and is then expected to begin construction around the summer with a completion date of early fall 2018.
King said that the new field would not only benefit Kenwood students, but the Hyde Park-Kenwood community as a whole.
“This school is the heart of our community,” King said in a past issue of the Herald. “I’m hoping there will be an increase in attendance of games and that the whole community will be able to celebrate this.”