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Neighborhood Beefs

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This will be a brief and guarded foray into the messy world of city schools. Beefs are just so tempting! In the sliver of a neighborhood known as The Gap, hostilities toward a planned "alternative" public high school are on the rise. Many of the well-to-do residents don't want the infusion of troubled youth— "alternative" schools, by the city's definition, are typically places of re-enrollment for high school dropouts whether they use a private, charter, or contract structure. The prospective school operator and owner of the land at 3232 S. King Drive, Prologue, faces an uphill battle for zoning approval in the face of citizen and aldermanic opposition. "This is not about doubting what you all do. I just don't want you as my neighbor. It's that simple. You could do great work, but I don't want you as my neighbor," said one resident at a recent meeting. The plan, if advanced, would also include a Civil War museum: this happens to be the site of the infamous Camp Douglas. [Sun-Times, image: Google Maps]