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CPS hints it may fill buildings with more than one school

Though continuing to observe a five-year moratorium on school consolidations and closings, Chicago Public Schools has hinted it will fill school buildings with more than one school at a time and try to alleviate overcrowding by changing school boundaries.

CPS posted draft guidelines for school actions Wednesday evening with no fanfare on a web page several clicks in from the home page.

CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said she wants to propose a “co-location” of two or more schools within the same building if the combined projected enrollment fits CPS’ Space Utilization Standards and the building can also support the academic programming.

She’d consider moving an overcrowded school’s boundary that could move students from their neighborhood school to another if surrounding schools have room for more students.

State law mandates October 1 as the annual deadline for publishing draft guidelines; CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s recommendations for the actions themselves must be published by December 1. Public comments will be collected until October 22 at

Since the Board of Education voted in May 2012 to close a record 50 schools, CPS has not proposed any more closures.

Supporters of the former Ames Middle School whose building,1920 N. Hamlin, now houses Marine Leadership Academy at Ames, believe the district did close the old Marine Math and Science Academy campus, 145 S. Campbell, without going through any of this state-mandated process. The Campbell building houses no Marine students or teachers and has nearly no budget, though a CPS spokesman said on paper it is still open.