The city wants to hear your thoughts on the plans for the Fifth Ward school and the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center and is asking people to fill out an online questionnaire about the Fifth Ward school campus project.

District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton, far left, Fifth Ward Council Member Bobby Burns, center, and District 65 Manager of Student Assignments Sarita Smith, far right, address the crowd at Tuesday’s community meeting. Credit: Duncan Agnew

“It’s important to get as much feedback as possible on this decision,” said Fifth Ward Council Member Bobby Burns. 

The questionnaire, which is available in English and Spanish, will be available until 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. 

Burns said the City Council will discuss the results at its first meeting in January.

Recent community meeting

On Dec. 6, more than 150 Evanstonians crowded the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center to hear the plans for a community meeting about the new historic Evanston/Skokie School District 65 neighborhood school and campus. 

Brigitte Giles, owner of Ebony Barber Shop, speaks at the Dec. 6 community meeting about the Fifth Ward school campus. Credit: Richard Cahan

Several Fifth Ward residents spoke in opposition to building a new community center. While others, such as Burns and former director of Family Focus and former Fifth Ward Council member Delores Holmes, were excited by the possibilities of the campus. And still others came to listen and absorb. 

People were shown the designs and could review the four proposed site plans – the same plans that District 65 staff, city staff and Cordogan Clark, the architecture and construction firm, will present to the City Council on Dec. 12.

Site plan concept one is the only currently proposed option that keeps the community center as is. But at a cost. It also eliminates green space and Foster Field.

Sarita Smith, District 65 director of student assignments. Credit: Richard Cahan

“Concept one has strips of green space,” Burns said. “You can’t play a football game on that. I feel passionate about protecting our green space. We need to preserve our natural environment as much as possible.”

If concept one is selected, Burns said, all of the sports programs, festivals and events that take place on Foster Field will have to be placed elsewhere. 

The other three options propose demolishing Fleetwood-Jourdain and rebuilding an improved community center.

Rebuilding Fleetwood-Jourdain could offer the possibility of a community indoor swimming pool and a permanent, year-round roller skating rink. 

Gina Castro

Gina Castro is a Racial Justice fellow for the Evanston RoundTable. She recently earned a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism where she studied investigative...

Leave a comment

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted. Your full name and email is required. We do not post anonymous comments. Your e-mail will not be posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *