The neighborhood rallies, Citywide petitions, calls to City Council members and maybe even the yard signs paid off on Monday night, as the City Council voted unanimously at their July 11 meeting not to sell Chandler-Newberger Community Center.
Chandler-Newberger, 1028 Central St., draws participants in its activities from all nine wards. Of the City’s four community centers – Fleetwood-Jourdain, Robert Crown, the Levy Center and Chandler-Newberger – it requires the least public money to operate. Despite that, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said it was the “least connected to the City’s mission.”
A representative of the Salvation Army told Council members at the July 11 meeting that organization would like to purchase the property. Rumors had also circulated that Northwestern Univeristy and Evaston Hospital were interested in purchasing the property, yet Mr. Bobkiewicz told residents at a Seventh Ward meeting last night that he had not talked with anyone about purchasing the property because, he said, “It’s not for sale.”
A petition with more than 500 signatures were collected by the ad-hoc “Save Chandler” group, and so many people signed up to speak at the July 11 meeting that each was allowed only 45 seconds to talk.