CHICAGO-An $18-million youth center is the next piece in the redevelopment puzzle in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. The three-story, 74,000-sf gymnasium and theater at 7155-59 S. South Chicago Ave. will be home to the South Shore Drill Team.

After getting 21 parcels worth $54,000 from the city for $1, the Gary Comer Science and Education Foundation is paying for the project, the fourth in the 73rd and University redevelopment area it has helped finance. That includes building 90 single-family homes over the next three years and renovations to Paul Revere Elementary School, which counts Land’s End catalog company founder Gary Comer as an alumnus.

Plans are in the works for additional improvements to the neighborhood, says Lisa Hope-Washington of the Department of Planning and Development.

The South Shore Drill Team has made appearances in the Rose Bowl parade, but has no place to call home. It has 300 members between the ages of 8 and 21, with another 300 on a waiting list. Most of the drill team members come from Paul Revere school, which has received $5 million in help from the Gary Comer Science and Education Foundation to add computer labs and refurbish its auditorium.

The land sale has been endorsed by the community development commission while the city’s plan commission recently signed off on vacating a portion of Drexel Boulevard to allow for construction on the 1.6-acre site at Ingleside and South Chicago avenues.

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