Turner Supports Measure to Increase Redevelopment of Abandoned Schools
CHICAGO, Ill. – To help repurpose abandoned school buildings, state Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago, is backing a measure directing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to study potential uses for the redevelopment of abandoned school buildings.
“Schools are community anchors, providing neighborhoods and towns with hubs that people build their lives around,” Turner said. “When buildings are empty, they invite crime, litter and numerous other problems. By redeveloping and repurposing abandoned facilities, we can help reestablish valuable resources for residents.”
House Bill 3597, which Turner is co-sponsoring, would initiate a study, to be conducted by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, analyzing the reuse and redevelopment of public elementary and secondary school facilities that closed during the previous five years. The study will catalogue successful and unsuccessful efforts, and make recommendations to the General Assembly to improve existing state policies concerning school building redevelopment to ensure that plans are sustainable and have a positive impact on communities.
“In the past year alone, my district has seen 5 public schools close,” Turner added. “This doesn’t just impact students, parents and teachers. There is a ripple effect across the community, impacting local businesses and residents. This study is a necessary first step to providing lawmakers with a better understanding about what we can do to help.”
For more information please call Turner’s full-time constituent service office at 773-277-4700.