FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, January 5, 2018
For more information, contact:
CPS Office of Communications
***A link to the renderings can be found here: http://bit.ly/englewoodrendering
Chicago Public Schools, community members and the local design team developing the state-of-the-art high school facility in Englewood unveiled design renderings today of the proposed $85 million neighborhood high school in Englewood. If approved by the Board of Education, the new high school would open in fall 2019 to provide families with a modern, high quality neighborhood high school that will help build on the strong academic progress being made in Englewood’s elementary schools.
The proposed high school will feature brand-new outdoor sports facilities, modern multipurpose educational spaces, and a school-based medical center to support both students and the community-at-large. The proposed school will also offer a partnership with Kennedy-King College, which will provide students the opportunity to earn early college credentials and high quality vocational course work, ranging from culinary arts to construction.
“If approved by the Board of Education, Englewood’s new neighborhood high school will combine state-of-the-art facilities with the support structures, academic programming and partnerships needed to prepare students for a bright future,” said CPS Acting CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. “CPS and the City of Chicago are committed to providing high quality educational opportunities in every neighborhood, and through this investment we will create the 21st century high school Englewood needs and deserves.”
The renderings unveiled today were designed by Englewood native Renauld Mitchell, who is the lead architect for the project and a partner at Moody-Nolan Inc. The site will be developed by UJAMAA / Power II Joint Venture — a minority-led joint venture located at 77th and Stoney Island Ave — which has committed to hiring members from the community for the construction of the school. If approved by the Board, the project will create 256 full-time equivalent positions, and UJAMAA / Power II will host hiring fairs in the community beginning this spring.
“Our students need a modern, state-of-the-art high school, and this significant investment in Englewood will make that a reality,” said Ald. Roderick Sawyer. “The new neighborhood high school in Englewood will be the next in a long list of investments that are revitalizing our community, and I can’t wait to see what our talented students accomplish with the best resources the city has to offer.”
If approved by the Board, the three-story school will broaden the range of educational opportunities for approximately 1,200 high school students in Englewood. The proposed neighborhood high school will feature state-of-the-art facilities designed to support high quality academic programming. The building will also house a self-contained school-based health center to support both students and the community-at-large by providing access to comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services.
"We've been advocating for a new neighborhood high school for years and this dream is finally within reach,” said Darlene O’Banner, Earle STEM Academy PAC Chairperson and LSC Member and Vice Chair of the West Englewood Coalition. “This proposal is by the community, for the community, and it will allow our students to dream big and provide them with support and academic opportunities to succeed in life.”
The new high school will not only build on the surging academic progress in the area’s elementary schools but also provide postsecondary opportunities by offering early college programs at Kennedy-King College so that students can earn college credits and access vocational programs, including a construction program with carpentry and welding instruction, free of charge while in high school.
In the coming weeks, CPS will continue working with the Englewood Steering Committee, members of the community, and local leaders to identify which academic programs would best fit the needs of the community. CPS is also seeking the community’s input to identify ways to preserve and honor Englewood’s rich history within the new school through features such as public art by local artists, customized communal areas, and other artistic design opportunities within the school.
Addressing Student Transition Needs
Nearly 90 percent of high school students in Englewood leave their neighborhood for high school, a higher percentage than any other neighborhood in the city. Due to the significant under-enrollment of the four Englewood high schools, the Englewood Community Action Council formally requested that CPS construct a new school for Englewood in place of the four current schools.
CPS worked with the Englewood Steering Committee, a group of community leaders helping guide this process, to determine the supports students would need to be successful during a potential school transition. Based on feedback from the Steering Committee, CPS has budgeted $8.3 million to provide assistance to students attending the four existing Englewood high schools and create individualized transition plans for students that ensure students have an opportunity to attend a higher performing school in the area. As part of this process, schools where Englewood students transfer will receive a portion of the funding to ensure that students are supported before, during and after the transition.
If the proposal is approved by the Board of Education, CPS will work with families to create individualized plans for the year ahead. Supports will include school selection and enrollment assistance, transportation supports, safety plans, and social and emotional learning resources for students.
In the coming weeks, CPS will hold community meetings to discuss additional key issues. Dates for the upcoming meetings can be found at www.cps.edu/transitions.
Chicago Public Schools serves 371,000 students in 646 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.