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Still No Library At Whittier School; Parents Protest

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Whittier Elementary School Fieldhouse On West 23rd Street. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM Photo)

Whittier Elementary School Fieldhouse On West 23rd Street. (Lisa Fielding/WBBM Photo)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – A noisy demonstration outside a Chicago School Board meeting Wednesday indicates that the controversy over an old field house at Whittier Elementary School is not over.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, organizer Jemma Gaete said there has been no action on a school system promise to rehab the detached field house for the school, at 1900 W. 23rd St. in the Pilsen neighborhood, for a library.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports

“CPS doesn’t want to renovate the field house, and they want to put the library inside the school,” Gaete said. “The problem with this and the reason why we fought so hard to keep the field house is that there’s no room.”

Last year, CPS announced plans to have the field house torn down to make way for a soccer field. This led to a 45-day sit-in by parents, who stocked the field house with library books on their own.

At one point, school officials turned off the heat, and drew the wrath of the City Council in doing so.

Ultimately in October of last year, then CPS chief executive officer Ron Huberman agreed that the system would rehab the field house for a library.

But now, Gaete says, parents see no library plans and fear their deal may be delayed to death.

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