At Issue: Mayor Emanuel Defends Reasoning Behind New Athletic Facility At Phillips Academy

He said facilities have been built at several other South Side schools, too. 

Craig Dellimore
May 10, 2019 - 7:43 am
Rahm Emanuel

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel during the All-Star mini-pitch dedication. (Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defiant about a newspaper report suggesting he built an athletic facility for a South Side school at the request of a big donor and friend.

Mayor Emanuel doesn’t deny Martin Koldyke, founder of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, asked him put a $13-million gym at Phillips Academy on the South Side. But, he said, he did not build one due to his request and campaign contribution, as suggested in the Tribune. He said it was built because the South Side students needed and deserved it.

"They practiced on a dirt field. That does not happen at Payton. That does not happen at North Side. I make no bones about getting the kids on the South Side, in Bronzeville, a football and athletic facility worthy of them," Emanuel said.

And he said facilities have been built at several other South Side schools, too. 

"At Simeon, we got them a track, football field, and baseball field. At Kenwood, we got them a track and a football field. And also at Englewood High School, the new facility, a state-of-the-art sports facility," Emanuel said. 

Mayor Emanuel is the guest on our At Issue program this weekend and you can hear more Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.