Jesse White Tumblers Seek Permanent Home

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Jesse White Tumbling Team has big hopes in their quest for a permanent practice facility.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, timing is everything, and if all goes well, the Jesse White Tumblers will have a permanent place to practice their athletics before Mayor Richard M. Daley leaves office.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports

But the team has quite a few hurdles to get over before that happens.

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) is pushing a proposal to set aside $5 million to construct a 30,000 square-foot gym at 410 W. Chicago Ave., on a lot where a Cabrini-Green public housing mid-rise used to stand, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The proposal would be funded with money from the Near North tax increment financial district, or TIF, in the amount of $5 million, the Sun-Times reported.

In the TIF district, property tax dollars for schools, parks, and other taxing districts are frozen for 23 years, and all property tax increases afterward to go into a fund to improve the struggling neighborhood.

The gym would be named after White, who is also the Illinois Secretary of State and the 27th Ward committeeman. White says he himself is trying to raise another $5 million, and hopes to break ground this spring.

The Jesse White Tumbling Team dates back to 1959, and are known for their performance during halftimes shows at professional basketball, football and baseball games. Many of the participants came from Cabrini-Green or from the old Henry Horner Homes development.

White was first elected secretary of state in 1998.

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