Design plans for a new $85 million high school for the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood were unveiled on Friday.
On display at the event at Kennedy-King College were renderings of the proposed Englewood High School, designed by Englewood native Renauld Mitchell, a lead architect on the project. The school will have a brand-new outdoor sports facility, modern multipurpose educational spaces and a school-based medical center for use by both students as well as other community residents.
The site at 6835 S. Normal will be developed by UJAMAA/Power II Joint Venture — a minority-led effort at 77th Street and Stoney Island Avenue — which plans to hire members from the community for the construction of the school.
But getting the new school requires closing four South Side high schools whose enrollments have dwindled after CPS created many other options: Harper, Hope, Robeson and TEAM Englewood.
If approved by the state’s Board of Education, the new high school will open to ninth graders in 2019. It will also create 256 full-time equivalent positions, and the site’s developers say they will host hiring fairs in the community beginning this spring, according to a release from CPS.
“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,” CPS acting CEO Janice Jackson said in a statement. “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.”
Since the four high schools in the area will be closing, CPS says it has also budgeted $8.3 million to provide assistance to 10th, 11th and 12th graders attending the four existing Englewood high schools and create individual transition plans so they have the opportunity to attend a higher-performing school in the area, CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said.
Schools to which those former Englewood students transfer will receive part of the funding to ensure that students are supported before, during and after the transition, Bolton said.
“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,” Bolton said. “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.”