Evanston RoundTable
Joseph E. Hill Education Center in Evanston
District 65’s Joseph E. Hill Education Center. (RoundTable file photo) Credit: Adina Keeling

Good Monday morning, Evanston.

Projections of student enrollment commissioned by Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and those done internally by the district, coupled with the significant declines in enrollment attributed to COVID-19 in the last two years, leave a great deal of uncertainty about what enrollment will look like in the future.

The issues are complicated because the enrollment projections commissioned by the district are for student enrollment in August, rather than Oct. 1, and there are significant drops between enrollment in August and Oct. 1, the official enrollment date, which are not fully explained.

Northwestern Medicine (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Like commercial and business districts across the nation, downtown Evanston has lost commuters and other consumers, leading to dramatic drops in sales, retail closures and vacant office spaces.

Still, downtown Evanston business leaders say they have been pleasantly surprised by the resilience of downtown businesses and are encouraged by new ventures and emerging plans for the downtown area.

“Our biggest focus right now is trying to help get things back to a pre-COVID state, with the understanding that we don’t know when exactly we’ll get to that.” said Paul Zalmezak, Evanston’s economic development manager. 

Week in Photos: In Tuesday’s newsletter we’ll share a roundup of photos taken throughout the past week. What were you up to in the last seven days? Send your photos to news@evanstonroundtable.com.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At This Time: Saturday at 12:08 p.m. Shalja Sharma (left) and Deepika Nandwana celebrate Holi in Raymond Park. About 100 people marked the Indian festival of spring and color at Evanston’s first Holi festival. They used powder to douse themselves – and others – in color. “I wanted to share this with all communities and give a place for people from India to celebrate, so they wouldn’t feel lost,” said organizer Bindu Reddy. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Morris “Dino” Robinson’s honorary street. (Photo by Heidi Randhava)

Here’s the history of some Fifth Ward street names. The ward boundaries we have today did not exist in the late 19th century, when many Evanston streets were named, but have you ever wondered why you live on “Foster” Street or “Hamlin” Street instead of some other designation? Here’s all you need to know about the origin of street names in Evanston’s historically Black Fifth Ward.

Friends of Lovelace Park names photo contest winner. Noah Eisfelder won the Friends of Lovelace Park photo contest with his picture, “The Lone Tree.” The Lovelace Park group’s members held the contest to draw attention to the beauty of the park. 

Credit: Joerg Metzner

Picturing Evanston. Light and shadow at Byline Bank on Church Street and Benson Avenue. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

New exhibit brings Caribbean folklore and traditions to Noyes Art Gallery. “AREITO: Allusions of Sacred Geometry and Disapora,” an installation by Yanira Collado, is on display through May 18 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

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Around the web

Nearly 19,000 more deaths in Cook County: The pandemic’s toll, two years in. Over the past two years, nearly 19,000 more people have died in Cook County than what would have been expected — a figure that demonstrates the enormous toll of the pandemic since the virus claimed its first life here in March 2020.

Evanston office building listed for $45M. The six-story, 198,000-square-foot building at 909 Davis Street is on the market for $45 millon, the first sale of a major Evanston office building in three years, Crain’s reported.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is ‘diligently’ working on a plan to address the city’s gas tax. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her team is preparing a proposal to address the skyrocketing price of gasoline in the city, as gas tops $5 per gallon.

Michelin adds 23 eateries to Chicago restaurant guide. From a variety of popular eateries across the city, 23 restaurants have been added to the Michelin Guide Chicago, earning an esteemed review from acclaimed culinary inspectors.

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Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...