12/19/2013 02:50 pm ET

Chicago Public Schools Votes To Triple The Budget For Boarding Up Shuttered Schools To $30.9 Million


The Chicago Public School district will now pay triple the amount it originally budgeted to board up buildings it shuttered during this year's massive wave of 50 school closures.

The board had approved the sweeping school closures as a purported cost-savings move, yet on Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education unanimously voted to pay $30.9 million to board up and secure 30 of the closed schools, the Sun-Times reports.

The board had initially approved an $8.9 million contract for the Ohio-based vendor Global Workplace Solutions in April, according to the Associated Press.

(Read WBEZ's look into what happens with all the "stuff" from shuttered CPS schools.)

Later, WBEZ reports that figure was "quietly amended" in September to more than double -- $18.9 million -- the original amount.

The district's Chief Operating Officer Tom Tyrrell insisted the budget surge for GWS isn't a problem. “We’ve been able to move things around...a little bit more here, a little bit less there, so it’s going to end up in balance,” Tyrrell said during the board meeting according to the Sun-Times.

School officials also said they're saving money by repurposing furniture and books from the shuttered schools.

As the school board approves a boosted budget for nailing up closed schools, it also announced its plan to vacate its longtime headquarters in favor of a smaller office space.



Chicago School Closings