ATHLETICS-US-OWENS-FILES

(FILES) -- A file picture taken on August 5, 1936 shows US champion Jesse (James Cleveland) Owens powering his way at the start of the 200m event, that he won, during the Olympic Games in Berlin, where he captured 4 gold medals, 100m, 200m, 4x100m and long jump. Born on September 12, 1913, grandson of a slave and legendary athlete "Jesse" Owens established 6 world records in 1935. Jesse Owens retained his 100m world record for 20 years and his long jump world record for 25 years (until 1960). (CORR / AFP/Getty Images / September 13, 2013)

A bid to restore a South Side elementary school building's connection to track star Jesse Owens after a name change earlier this year that many considered culturally tone-deaf will face a final vote later this month, officials said Wednesday.

Chicago Public Schools confirmed that a local school council considering the matter voted in favor of naming its school for Owens, an African-American who settled in Chicago after winning Olympic gold. The Board of Education will take up the matter at its Oct. 23 meeting, according to a CPS news release. If approved, a district spokeswoman said, the change would take effect immediately.

Owens' daughters, all of whom live in Chicago, have said they were hurt when CPS removed the Olympian's name from a building in the predominantly black West Pullman neighborhood.

At a community meeting about the proposed change last month, one man said it seemed racially insensitive to take down the name of an American hero whose victories at the 1936 Berlin Olympics were seen as a symbolic triumph over the prejudices of Adolf Hitler.

The Jesse Owens Community Academy name went away over the summer as the district closed dozens of schools, and the building became part of nearby Samuel Gompers Fine Arts Option School. Gompers was a labor leader born in England.

If the school board gives its blessing, both buildings currently named for Gompers — the one previously named for the track athlete and the one down the street that has long honored the labor leader — will be named after Owens. The local school council's recommendation drew an endorsement Wednesday from Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

"Jesse Owens remains a powerful figure in our country's history and this school's name will serve as a moving tribute to his legacy as well as a reminder for students for years to come how one person can influence the course of history," Byrd-Bennett said in a statement. "We support and will take this recommendation of the Gompers Local School Council to the board immediately for their consideration."

mitsmith@tribune.com