President’s Message

Dear Friends,

As we move into the holiday season, the Board has been busy realigning the budget, hosting information meetings and informing the community about the LaSalle Language Academy Playground Project, coordinating the up and coming new Board elections and planning the Holiday party. This newsletter, dedicated to informing members about the LaSalle School Playground Project, recaps two meetings, one held by OTTA at the Triangle and the other at LaSalle School.

Many of you know that the LaSalle Language Academy along with CPS have potential funds to rebuild the entire LaSalle playground. The plan is to create four new areas including two new playground equipment areas, one for 4-7 year-olds and one for 8-13 year-olds. There will be a small asphalt area for riding bikes. These three areas will take up approximately 25% of the playground. The school proposes that 75% of the current playground will be covered with a multi-purpose artificial turf soccer field.

The school plans to use the artificial turf field for its PE classes, recess space, and proposes that it can earn income by renting it to youth soccer leagues. When not in use (like the current playground) the field would be available for neighbors to play on.
The OTTA has created an ad-hoc committee with members Phil Graff, Sam Simmerman, Ed Sokolofski and is chaired by me. The committee will work with Principal Graves of LaSalle School in a cooperative effort to explore if we can minimize the impact of this proposed field to the neighborhood and focus on solutions to an anticipated increase in traffic, diminished parking availability, as well as concerns over safety, noise, litter and Art Fair artist parking in both the short term and long term.

Our ultimate hope is to articulate a platform of mutual interest between the LaSalle School and OTTA very much in the spirit of the relationship we have enjoyed with the Menomonee Club for 60+ years, benefiting both organizations financially and operationally. Please read the LaSalle School Playground Project Overview for more information about the soccer field and thanks to all for your feedback.

Wishing you Happy Holidays!
Steve Weiss
President, OTTA