A few months ago we told you that yearslong fight for a Chinatown high school wasn’t over. Newly appointed Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) said she’d make it a priority to push for a Near South neighborhood school.
Now this of course doesn’t mean a new building is approved yet — a site hasn’t even been selected. But the funding hurdle is a major one to clear.
“We have to determine a site and there’s still plenty of work to be done,” State Rep. Theresa Mah told me. She spearheaded the proposal in the Legislature.
Mah said it’s vital the selected site serves all three communities — Chinatown, Bridgeport and the South Loop.
“There’s a lot of interest in this project, the community’s been asking for this for a long time. This is a good sign, and I’m happy to see that it’s moving forward. But it also can’t be rushed and it can’t be done without full community input.
A CPS spokeswoman told me the district expects to kick off a planning process this summer.
Any official plans could still be months or years away, depending how high of a priority this becomes for CPS. If planning reaches that point, the Board of Education would then need to approve the new building.
For now, the school board is set to vote on this $70 million allocation later this month as part of the district’s overall budget. You can check out the nitty gritty below, plus our latest stories on a special education prom, the board’s latest member and a historic donation to Loyola University.
Until next week,
Nader Issa, Sun-Times education reporter
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