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Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Moreno and Representative Luis Gutierrez Cut the Ribbon on New Athletic Fields for Roberto Clemente Community Academy and Wells Community Academy High School

19 March 2018

More than $7 million invested in competition-size facilities in the first ward

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Tuesday, March 19, 2018

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, Representative Luis Gutierrez, CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson and Jose Lopez to cut the ribbon on new athletic facilities at two Chicago Public Schools, Roberto Clemente Community Academy and Wells Community Academy High School. The fields will support school sports, as well as recreational programming for the entire community.

“Investments in world-class academic institutions like those at Wells and Clemente not only support the students of Chicago; they are investment in our residents and the future of our City,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These brand new athletic fields will help both students and west side residents to stay engaged and on track to a brighter future.”

The fields at Clemente will be used primarily for softball and baseball, while the new field at Wells will support soccer and baseball. Both Clemente and Wells fields now have spectator seating, improved lighting, underground drainage infrastructure and storm water management and other amenities.

“I am thrilled that we can provide our residents and the hard-working students at Clemente and Wells with the high-quality athletic fields they deserve,” said Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, 1st Ward. “Ongoing community investments like these fields would not be possible without the commitment and determination from our local leaders and students.”

Wells Community Academy High School is now home to a competition-size synthetic turf soccer field and baseball field. Additional funding supported parking lot improvements, chain link fencing and a netted nylon ball stopper system. The $3.3 million investment was funded by CPS and OSIF, and supported by the Department of Planning and Development.

Roberto Clemente Community Academy is now home to a 120,000 square foot competition-size synthetic turf field for baseball and softball, and a sodded turf for practice and recreational use. Additional updates include team dugout areas, a press box and dual scoreboard, and removable outfield fencing with foul poles, a ball stopper system and backstop. The $3.9 million investment was funded by the Capital Improvement Tax.

“These athletic facilities will help students at Wells and Clemente lead healthy, active lives while providing experiences that will instill the invaluable lesson of teamwork,” said Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Dr. Janice Jackson.

Clemente has continued to make academic gains since 2011 and graduated its first wall-to-wall IB class in 2016. In 2012, Clemente was the third school to announce wall-to-wall IB programming, which was first at Back of the Yards and Nicholas Senn High School. Chicago is home to the largest network of IB schools in the nation, with 52 schools (22 high schools and 30 elementary schools) currently serving more than 26,000 students enrolled in IB coursework citywide.

“Coupled with our strong academic programming, this high-quality athletic facility provides Clemente students with a well-rounded education in the Humboldt Park community,” said Roberto Clemente High School Principal Fernando Mojica. “With the support of previous administrators and future-focused parents, Clemente is now a world-class neighborhood school with students graduating and going to college in record numbers.”

CPS schools in Humboldt Park and West Humboldt Park have seen more than $46 million in investments, including significant systems and facilities upgrades at Cameron Elementary School, Chicago High School for the Arts and Piccolo School of Excellence. James Russell Lowell Elementary School and Orr Academy High School made significant improvements to accommodate students with special needs, including ADA accessibility and classroom renovations.

Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, there have been significant ongoing investments to underdeveloped parts of the neighborhood. Among these investments is a $3.5 million facility for La Casa Norte, one of Chicago’s most innovative non-profits that can now serve more residents. Significant investments were made to develop affordable housing, and include Borinquen Bella L.P, North & Pulaski Senior Housing, Children's Place Association LLC, Nelson Mandela Apartments, among others. These developments are in addition to the more than $8 million in Chicago Housing Authority investments to modernize, retrofit and update buildings across the neighborhood.

“Chicago’s Puerto Rican community has an incredible friend in Mayor Emanuel, and I appreciate his support as we continue to invest in Humboldt Park and welcome families with open arms,” said Luis Gutierrez, US Representative, 4th District. “When tragedy struck Puerto Rico, we got to work right away in Chicago, and I am immensely proud of our continued efforts to help them rebuild and recover.”

Humboldt Park, a community anchor, has seen more than $8 million in investments to support upgrades since 2011, including the construction of artificial turf athletic fields, improvements to the swimming pool and a rehabbed field house.

Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.

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