As I live a block away from the school, I wish to commend the construction planners and crews who have brought Komarek into the 21st century. On the whole, the work has progressed quickly and quietly, for this we are thankful.

But now as the final shape of the school is coming into focus, I am distressed by how much we have traded trees and gardens for black tar and parking spaces. The five new trees that have been planted seem like an afterthought in the conception of the Komarek remodel. 

Before the project, there were three smaller trees on 12th Avenue alone, and 24th Street had the massive shade trees and a garden hard up by the school wall to soften the space.

We lost so many trees to the cyclone that tore through North Riverside, some of that canopy needs to be replaced. The trees torn down to make room for the Komarek construction need to be replaced. Finishing the project by covering the entire footprint of Komarek’s property with black tar asphalt seems to me to be a disrespectful way of considering the space we live in as children, villagers and people.

Now we have a large heatsink of black tar at the east end for parking spaces to absorb and radiate heat, and a runway along the south side of the building for cars to line up like at a terminal at O’Hare.

While I appreciate the start with the five trees we have now, a fair bit more landscaping can and should be incorporated to the property. Now that the heavy lifting of the construction is out of the way, can we please find a bit of time and budget to make room for some more trees and greenery that will grow to honor and shelter Komarek and the children and educators who go there?

Ross LeMesurier, North Riverside