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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools officials today celebrated the renovation of the old William Jones College Preparatory building that will allow the nationally ranked high school to nearly double its enrollment a total of 1,700 by 2016.
“The City of Chicago continues to make essential investments in high-quality opportunities for students across the city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “From expanded pre-kindergarten and establishing a full day of universal kindergarten to increasing school options like IB, STEM and selective enrollment programs like Jones, we must ensure that from cradle to college, our students are prepared for a successful future.”
The renovated building features a new student resource center, art rooms, a multi-purpose room, a fitness center with locker rooms, a pre-law lab and a permanent canopy linking to the new high school building. Jones also received architectural renovations, mechanical and cooling plant upgrades, as well as renovations to the exiting cafeteria.
“For many years Jones College Prep prepared Chicago's students for a bright future, and these renovations and expansion will allow more students to enroll at a nationally-ranked school before moving on to college and a successful career” said CPS CEO Byrd-Bennett. “The renovations also allow Jones to offer students a wider variety of educational opportunities.”
Prior to the expansion and renovations in August 2013, the South Loop school served 900 students. The new building and renovations will increase enrollment to 1,700 students by 2016. In School Year 2013-2014, Jones received nearly 11,000 applications for just 250 incoming freshman selective enrollment seats.
Jones College Prep also began offering two CTE programs last school year that provide students with focused coursework in pre-engineering and pre-law. A total of 300 seats dedicated to these programs will be added by 2016.
The Public Building Commission (PBC), which led the Jones renovations on behalf of CPS, is committed to a high level of economic sustainability. Contract provisions on these projects require that at least 50 percent of the labor force be City of Chicago residents and that residents of the community area also be hired to work on the project. The PBC is also committed to contract provisions that require minority and women-owned business participation.
The expansion of Jones College Prep is one of many investments Mayor Emanuel and CEO Byrd-Bennett are making across the City of Chicago to increase high-quality education options for students and their families.