Creating new school buildings offers Chicago Public Schools students the facilities and equipment they need to succeed, Mayor Richard M. Daley said today as he cut the ceremonial ribbon on the new addition at Benito Juarez Community Academy.
The city provided $15.5 million in TIF funds to support the expansion project at Juarez high school, located at 2150 S. Laflin in the Pilsen/Little Village community.
“I really believe that if we want to take our schools to the next level, we must give our students, teachers and principals the tools they need to succeed,” said Mayor Daley. “And there is no better tool than an up-to-date school building that provides a safe and modern environment for learning.”
The $36 million-dollar expansion and renovation project includes purchase of land to accommodate a 53,000 square foot performing arts addition, more than 10,000 square feet of new classrooms, construction of a new community plaza and new athletic facilities.
The performing arts space, designed to house both student and community events, seats more than 500 people. The space will host its first community concert tonight with performances by The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in honor of Mexican Independence Day.
The building will also provide a space for the school’s new drama program including two new performing arts teachers bringing creative instruction to more than 100 students. In addition, large performing arts practice rooms will be used by the Juarez choir and band.
State-of-the-art sports facilities are now open as well. Students will have access to a renovated pool facility, softball field and artificial turf soccer field.
Since 1996, CPS has invested more than $5.5 billion in school capital improvements across the city. By the end of next year, the Chicago Public Schools will also have completed four major additions and four major renovations to existing school buildings.
This school year, CPS has also opened five new schools under the Mayor’s “Modern Schools Across Chicago” (MSAC) initiative. The Modern Schools Across Chicago Initiative is fully funded by City money.
“When you open a new school, you give students and staff a fresh start, greater hope and of course, an improved learning environment. You provide a new anchor for the community,” Daley added.