Chicago Public Schools
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Chicago Housing Authority approves leasing land to school district for new high school

July 20, 2022
The Chicago school system has plans to build a $120 million school at the site of the former Harold L. Ickes Homes.
Chicago Public Schools
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Housing officials in Chicago have approved a plan to lease land on the city's Near South Side to the school district so it can build a $120 million high school.

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) board of commissioners voted to lease the site of the former Harold L. Ickes Homes to Chicago Public Schools, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. The CHA began shutting down the housing project in 2007 and said it would replace it with new public housing. 

The school board was set last month to vote on plans for the high school, but at the last minute, the district administration removed the proposal from the board agenda. Some board members had voiced concerns about the project’s effect on nearby under-enrolled schools and community protests.

Neighbors and housing advocates who oppose the plans say the city is breaking promises to Black residents by building a school rather than housing. It is also facing opposition from those who believe a new school lure students away from nearby under-enrolled majority Black schools. 

Despite opposition, housing authority CEO Tracey Scott said she had heard favorable reviews from CHA residents who want a new school.

In exchange for the 1.7 acres of land at 24th and State streets, the CHA would receive two acres down the street on Wabash Avenue in a land swap with the school district.

The new high school would serve the South Loop, Chinatown and Bridgeport communities.

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