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Major playground makeover for North Side school

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Updated: October 12, 2013 7:18PM



Mayor Rahm Emanuel told a surprised gathering Saturday at Ravenswood Elementary School that the Chicago Public Schools system will contribute $350,000 toward a $1.5 million reconstruction of its playground meant to make the play area more environment-friendly, easing flooding.

The project began with a “grassroots” effort started three years ago by a third-grader, according to Cornelia Grumman, president of the group Friends of Ravenswood School, which has pledged to contribute $50,000 for the work.

The new playground — to be completed by next fall — will have an amphitheater, a turf field to help decrease rain runoff, new playground equipment and a human-sized chess board, as well as porous pavement, underground stormwater storage, rain gardens and 4,000-gallon cisterns to collect rainwater.

The current asphalt playground often floods in heavy rain.

Emanuel was joined at the school Saturday by Gov. Pat Quinn and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th). The state Environmental Protection Agency will give $750,000 for the playground project, according to Quinn’s office; and Pawar said his office has donated about $200,000.

Email: bschlikerman@suntimes.com

Twitter: @schlikerman



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