Chicago officials have announced plans to build a $75 million high school in the Englewood neighborhood that would replace four existing high schools in the area with minuscule enrollment.
The Chicago Public Schools proposal calls for constructing the new school that would open in 2019 on the existing site of Robeson High School. It would replace Robeson, Harper, Hope and TEAM Englewood high schools.
Englewood, on the city's South Side, is among the poorest and most crime-plagued sections of Chicago. District officials say the neighborhood's high school student population is the sixth highest in the city, but only 11 percent of students attend their neighborhood school. More than four out of every 10 students in the neighborhood go to schools four miles or farther away.
DNAinfo Chicago reports that enrollment at the four affected high schools has plummeted in the last decade.
Robeson had 1,509 students in 2006 and now has 148 students; Harper had 1,301 students in 2006 and has 160 students; Hope had 1,015 students in 2006 and now has 122 students; TEAM Englewood had 696 students in 2006 and now has 143 students.
Those campuses also have millions of dollars in deferred maintenance. Harper, built in 1911, has $38.7 million in maintenance needs. The other three high schools, built in the 1970s, have maintenance needs ranging from $15.7 million to $35 million.
The district says it expects that the campuses where schools are closing will continue to serve a community purpose. Hope shares its campus with KIPP Bloom College Prep and TEAM Englewood shares its building with Urban Prep Academy. Robeson is to remain open during construction; the district says will work with the community on repurposing the Harper site.