21 community projects – including 1 in Austin – vying for $10 million in city funding

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Twenty-one community improvement projects – including one in Austin – have been selected as semi-finalists for the Chicago Community Works challenge, a $10 million grant competition to support upgrades to public properties throughout the city.

Learn more about the Columbus Park open space renovations project Thursday night at a virtual meeting. (Register here for this meeting or any of the other virtual meetings being held in coming weeks.)

The 21 projects were selected from close to 500 ideas submitted this summer by community stakeholders for public parks, schools, libraries, city-owned lots and other facilities.

Officials from the parks, libraries, CPS and other city agencies have reviewed the projects and determined that all 21 semi-finalists “are feasible and immediately actionable,” said DPD Commissioner Maurice Cox. “Public input will now be key in getting this list down to seven funded winners.”

Following public surveys and presentations that will begin this month, seven final selections will be made, one for each of the city’s seven planning regions. Selected projects will receive up to $1.5 million in public funding to support construction.

The semi-finalists projects and the time of their virtual meeting for each region are listed below: 

CENTRAL | Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6 PM

  • Haines Elementary School-Playground Upgrades, 247 W. 23rd Place (Armour Square) 
  • King Branch Library-Children’s Area Improvements, 3436 S. King Drive (Douglas) 
  • Skinner Park-Garden Improvements, 1331 W. Monroe St. (Near West Side) 

FAR SOUTH | Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 6 PM

  • Matthew Gallistel Language Academy-Playground Updates, 10347 S. Ewing Ave. (East Side) 
  • Woodson Regional Library-Maker Space Makeover, 9525 S. Halsted St. (Washington Heights) 
  • Park #581-Green Space Enhancements, 11625 S. Oakley Ave. (Morgan Park) 

NORTH | Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 6 PM

  • Nettelhorst School-Playground Renewal, 3252 N. Broadway (Lake View) 
  • Sam Leone Beach Park-Nature Center Upgrades, 1222 W. Touhy Ave. (Rogers Park) 
  • Warren Park-Multigenerational Recreation Enhancements, 6601 N. Western Ave. (West Ridge) 

NORTHWEST | Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 6 PM

  • Volta Elementary School-Playground Updates, 4950 N. Avers Ave. (Albany Park) 
  • Ronan Park-Multicultural Garden Enhancements, 2900 W. Lawrence Ave., (Albany Park) 
  • Kelvyn Park-Field House Improvements, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. (Hermosa) 

SOUTHEAST | Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 PM

  • The Community Healing Garden-Open Space Updates, 7302 S. Dante Ave. (South Shore) 
  • South Shore Cultural Center-Facility Improvements, 7059 S. South Shore Drive (South Shore) 
  • Rainbow Beach-Racquet Court Updates, 3111 E. 77th St. (South Shore) 

SOUTHWEST | Thursday, Nov. 4 at 6 PM

  • Claremont Academy-Playground Upgrades, 2300 W. 64th St. (Chicago Lawn) 
  • McKinley Park-Garden and Skate Park Improvements, 3700 S. Damen Ave. (McKinley Park) 
  • Archer Park-Ball Field Renovations, 4901 S. Kilbourne Ave. (Archer Heights) 

WEST | Thursday, Oct. 21 at 6 PM

  • LaSalle Elementary-Campus Improvements, 1148 N. Honore Ave. (West Town) 
  • Dett Elementary- Garden Upgrades, 2131 W. Monroe St. (Near West Side) 
  • Columbus Park-Open Space Renovations, 500 S. Central Ave. (Austin) 

Additional details about all seven community events can be found at Chicago.gov/ChicagoWorksChallenge.

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