Hundreds of community residents gathered beneath the clock tower of the new Kennedy-King College campus to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony that was emceed by PBC Executive Director Montel M. Gayles (inset photo).* Mayor Richard M. Daley, Gayles, PBC board members and other dignitaries were on hand for the unveiling of the 40-acre campus located at 6301 S. Halsted St.
Mayor Richard M. Daley joined government, educational and Englewood community leaders to dedicate the new Kennedy-King College on Halsted Street between 62nd and 65th streets.
“This is one of the finest urban community college campuses in the United States,” the Mayor said. “63rd and Halsted has always been the heart of the Englewood community, and the new Kennedy-King campus will provide this community with a very strong heartbeat.”
The 40-acre campus consists of six buildings with a combined 500,000 square feet of floor space.
The Academic Building has 22 classrooms, 19 laboratories and 55 offices.
The Library contains four study rooms, a music library and a reading area overlooking the campus.
The Radio-TV and Culinary Building has four kitchens, a teaching restaurant, a 450-seat dining hall, a theater, three television production studios and offices and studios for WYCC-TV20 and WKCC-FM.
The Applied Sciences Buildings contains a book store; auto technology lab; and shops for auto body work, welding, printing and heating, ventilating and air conditioning.
The Athletics-Student Services Building contains a swimming pool, gymnasium, cafeteria, dance studio wrestling room, weight room and 43 offices.
The Childcare Building contains a music room, kitchen and gymnasium and has an outdoor play lot.
The campus also has an athletic field and parking for 800 spaces. Like all new buildings of the City and its sister agencies, it was built to high environmental standards and has a green roof.
“We all know that a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job in today’s global economy,” Daley said. “We have to get more of our students to go on to some form of higher education – and one way to do this is through a community college system that has top-quality facilities and outstanding educational programs.
“This is where people of all ages — from the South Side and across the city — can come to obtain the education and skills they need to obtain a good job and secure their piece of the American Dream,” the Mayor said. “Whether or not they attend classes here, Englewood residents will be welcome to use its library, book store, restaurant, athletic facilities and day-care center.”
Daley pointed out that 47 percent of the construction dollars were awarded to minority and women vendors, and almost 60 percent of the construction workers were minorities. Of the 147 companies that worked on the project, more than 60 percent are minority-owned.
Daley predicted the new campus would attract additional commercial, retail and housing development to the Englewood community.
Among the new buildings in Englewood in recent years are the West Englewood Branch Library, 1745 W. 63rd St.; the Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child and Family Center, 1701 W. 63rd St.; the Englewood Human Services Center, 845 W. 69th St.; the Bernard Place housing development at 64th Street and the Dan Ryan Expressway, which has announced plans to add more housing; and the Salvation Army Red Shield Community Center, 901<