Chicago Public Schools and Municipal Code on Vacant Buildings

Vacant Schools

Under Municipal Code 13-12-125 Vacant Buildings, the Chicago Public Schools has a responsibility to maintain vacant buildings it owns or manages, this includes the public schools. Shown above is example of what these vacant properties exhibit, graffiti walls, overturned furniture, and harboring illegal drug traffic. Some examples of these responsibilities include: registering the building with the city, paying a registration fee, enclosing and securing the building, posting a sign with the name of the owner, owner’s authorized agent, insure the building, maintain a surety bond posted with the City, and maintain the building with City Building Code.

According to a Substance News Report, “no one at CPS can explain who is responsible for supervision and maintenance of vacant CPS school properties.” (by David Vance) Non compliance with the ordinance and if the building is determined to be a public nuisance, the fines can be up to $5,000 per day. Who is enforcing this on the CPD officials? Can these vacant school buildings be repurposed or sold for the greater community good? What type of uses would be suitable for each area and does the zoning need to be changed? I am still looking for a data set on Chicago Public Schools building inventory to identify how many vacant schools there are in the city.

How could the public be involved in this process?

Here is an example of crowd sourcing map:

Vacant and Condemned properties in Minneapolis


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