Down to the wire: FOX 32 goes inside `welcoming` CPS school - FOX 32 News Chicago

Down to the wire: FOX 32 goes inside a `welcoming` CPS school

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

John P. Altgeld Elementary School will become Daniel S. Wentworth Elementary School in eleven days. Until then, crews are working around the clock to make sure it's ready for twice the number of students.

"We got here about 8:30, there's about 40 of us," said William Peters, a 21-year-old moving crew member.

Their mission?

"We've just been moving a lot of stuff, chairs, teachers desks, big tables, everything," said Peters.

"It's going to take a lot of elbow grease and a lot of work but I'm hopeful," said Dina Everage, the principal of Daniel S. Wentworth Elementary School.

Principal Dina Everage took FOX 32's Tisha Lewis on a tour inside the building that used to house Altgeld school where she, her team and all her students from Wentworth Elementary School will take over this year.

"So we've gotten bare bones moved in for the classrooms but there are still a lot of upgrades that I'm on as far as painting and just getting the classroom ascetically pleasing," said Everage.

Right now, there are desks, chairs and electrical upgrades inside Altgeld. On Monday, teachers arrive to add their "TLC" to their classroom.

There is also a new media lab with projectors inside the welcoming school but an obvious unfinished project? The library.

"I don't want to believe in the ‘if they're not ready' but this will be a space that won't be open to students and I'm hopeful that that's not our case," said Everage.

Thursday morning on Good Day Chicago, Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett says Altgeld will be ready on day one.

"So there's been a lot of construction at our schools. This week, what we're doing, the major construction projects are just about finished. At Altgeld, for example, we are moving the library books in, the floors have been done, the laboratories have been done, air conditioning in each of the windows so it's really unpacking and reassembling the furniture, etc. We're confident that the school will be ready for the children and teachers on the first day of school," said Byrd-Bennett.

"They'll work weekends, they'll work 24 hours, they'll do what needs to be done to just get it done," said Everage.

Byrd-Bennett released a statement Thursday, reiterating that CPS is on schedule for the transformation.

"CPS is committed to ensuring our school buildings and personnel are ready to receive our students on August 26, the first day of school," the statements aid. "By the end of this week, all school facilities will be turned over to CPS from the Public Building Commission (PBC), so that principals and teachers can put the finish touches of their schools and classrooms. We are on track and enthusiastic about the start of the school year on Monday, August 26."

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