As of February 20, 2018, the Lyman Trumbull Elementary School building is now the future home to the Chicago Waldorf School. Svigos Development and Waldorf have been in negotiations over the last few months for the purchase of the property where Waldorf will relocate its main campus. After much searching around the city, Waldorf reached out to Svigos last fall with the hopes of securing a deal to make the Trumbull building their permanent home to house the growing student body. Waldorf is an independent school currently located in the 49th Ward and offers classes for grades Pre-K thru 12th. While we were excited about the development opportunities Svigos was planning, myself along with a large number of neighbors are pleased that the former Trumbull School building will remain an educational facility. I wish Svigos the very best in finding their next project.
As you may recall, Waldorf was the second highest bidder in 2015 when the Board of Education awarded the repurposing project of the Trumbull property to Svigos. The possibility of Svigos selling the building to a non-charter private school was discussed in October 2016 after the failed deal with Timeline Theatre was announced. Under the terms of the contract with the Board of Education, Svigos was legally limited to use the building in only two ways, either a theater and dwelling units or a private non-charter school. Since that time, Waldorf has remained interested in the property and is now happy to be moving forward with their original goal for the Chicago Waldorf School in Andersonville.
I recently met with the Waldorf team to go over the planned developments for the building and surrounding property. Waldorf will share the exterior schematic designs with the community once they are finalized. The proposed construction time frame is set for June, July, and August. Please see the links below for more specifics concerning the development project and Waldorf’s vision for the Trumbull building. Waldorf has expressed excitement about the opportunities to join and partner with the neighborhood as they develop the play areas and green space on the property. The Waldorf team will work tirelessly over the next few months to hit their target of a Fall 2018 opening.
In terms of the next steps, pending the approval of the Committee on Zoning and the City Council, zoning for the Trumbull property will be amended to revert to its original classification for the school. At my insistence, it remains Waldorf’s intent to landmark both the interior and the exterior of the building to keep the historic integrity of the building. Over the course of the renovation project, Waldorf will consult with the Landmarks Division of the City of Chicago to identify the key elements that will lead to a successful landmark application. As the process continues to progress, we will continue to keep you updated.
The property at 5200 North Ashland Avenue has stood vacant for too long so I am excited for the future of the school and the preservation of this historic building.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns (Ward40@cityofchicago.org).
Chicago Waldorf School, Andersonville
For more information please call 773-381-1327 or visit the website at www.WaldorfAndersonville.com.
Please click here for the Chicago Waldorf’s School announcement.
Ald. Pat O’Connor