CPS says new schools need concrete plans for facilities

Print More

District leaders will unveil 32 new school proposals at 11 community forums this week, a routine step in the Renaissance 2010 selection process. But unlike last year, the public should have a much better idea where the new schools will be located.

That’s because last year, the Board of Education approved several schools without finalizing their locations, touching off a slew of logistics headaches for school operators and CPS administrators. Weary but wiser, district leaders are pressing school design teams to include concrete plans for facilities with their proposals this year.

District leaders will unveil 32 new school proposals at 11 community forums this week, a routine step in the Renaissance 2010 selection process. But unlike last year, the public should have a much better idea where the new schools will be located.

That’s because last year, the Board of Education approved several schools without finalizing their locations, touching off a slew of logistics headaches for school operators and CPS administrators. Weary but wiser, district leaders are pressing school design teams to include concrete plans for facilities with their proposals this year.

Only recently did the board strike deals—temporary deals, that is—to solve a myriad of location issues facing some of the Renaissance schools that are slated to open this fall.

One example is the new Chicago High School for the Arts. After months spent hunting for a home, a location was finalized in May. But so far, it’s only a stopgap measure: the school will share a building with Pershing West Middle School in Bronzeville. Jimm Dispensa, head of the CPS demographics department, already predicts that the high school will outgrow its space and be forced to look for another building in the future.

Other new schools that have found only temporary homes are:

  • The Urban Prep campus in Garfield Park will share space with Cather Elementary.
  • The Air Force Academy and the Career Academy for Advanced Technology will both be housed in the former Medill Elementary buildings.
  • Alcott High School will share space with Schneider Elementary.
  • Chicago Talent Development High will be housed with Tilton Elementary.

The 11 community forums are open to the public. Here’s a list, including the school proposals to be discussed:

Tuesday, July 7

  • South Chicago, 6-8pm, Villa Guadalupe Community Room, 3201 E. 91st St.
    • LEARN Charter
    • Leadership Prep Academy
    • South Loop III
    • Brilliance Academy of Technology
    • South Chicago Preparatory Academy
    • Southside Public Montessori
    • Vision Academy for the Arts
  • Rogers Park, 6-8pm, Rogers Park Public Library, 6907 N. Clark St.
    • Passports Academy
    • Earn Academy
  • West Town/Humboldt Park, 6-8pm, Erie Charter, 2510 W. Cortez
    • James Dernham Public Health Academy

Wednesday, July 8

  • Austin/North Lawndale, 6-8pm, Austin Public Library, 5615 W. Race Ave.
    • Westside Charter School of Fine Arts
    • LEARN Charter
    • Chicago Elementary for the Performing Arts
  • Pilsen, 6-8pm, Lozano Public Library, 1805 S. Loomis St.
    • Victoria Charter
  • Southwest, 6-8pm, Archer Heights Public Library, 5055 S. Archer
    • PRIMUS School of Excellence
    • International Chess Preparatory Academy

Thursday, July 9

  • Englewood, 6-7:30pm, Rust Memorial Church, 6400 S. Stewart
    • Southside School of Social Justice
    • Noble Network of Charter Schools
    • The Media Arts and Sciences High School of Englewood 
  • North Center/Northwest, 7-8:30pm, Irving Park YMCA, 4251 W. Irving Park Rd.
    • Black Hawk Early College Indigenous Academy
    • Avondale Montessori Academy
  • Kenwood/Grand Boulevard, 6-8pm, Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center, 1060 E. 47th St.
    • Prologue James Johnston Campus
    • LEARN Charter
    • Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School College Preparatory Academy
  • Far South, 6-8pm, Neighborhood Housing Services, 11005 S. Michigan
    • XSTREME Fitness Academy
    • Roseland Preparatory Academy
    • Chicago State University Options Laboratory School
    • Glenwood Charter

Saturday, July 11

  • Riverdale, 10am-12pm, Chicago Housing Authority Main Building, 951 E. 132nd Place
    • VOISE Academy II
    • Global Education Outreach School
    • Chicago International Charter School
    • New Vision Academy Charter School