Sheridan Academy will add annex
April 7, 2017

In a surprise to just about everyone, the Chicago Public Schools’ Mark Sheridan Math and Science Academy found itself in line for an $8 million annex.

Officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Thompson announced the project during a surprise news conference.

The annex to the 563-student kindergarten-through-eighthgrade magnet school at 533 W. 27th St. will include a new gym, multipurpose room, cafeteria, additional washrooms, and a playground. Even the school’s principal for the past decade, John O’Connell, had no idea the City had been planning the project. The last time the school saw any addition “was in 1901,” O’Connell said.

The building opened in December of 1881 and is among the oldest public school buildings still in use in Chicago. It was designed by Augustus Bauer, who also designed Old St. Patrick’s Church. One of the first things O’Connell plans to do is expand the school’s sports program. Right now, after school sports are “minimal, because the needs have outgrown the current gym,” he explained.

The gym currently is on the second floor, which can be difficult for some older parents and grandparents to access, he said.

“It’s not just about kids; it’s about the family and community as well,” O’Connell said. O’Connell said he also might use the gym for graduation.

Money for the project will come from the CPS Capital Improvement Budget, Thompson said, adding that the building “should take about a year to finish” in time for the 2017-18 school year.”

— Patrick Butler