Participating in the Kennedy-King College groundbreaking ceremony are (from left) Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Wayne Watson, Mayor Richard M. Daley, 16th Ward Alderman Shirley Coleman, PBC Executive Director Montel Gayles, PBC Commissioner Dr. Robert Donaldson II, 20th Ward Alderman Arenda Troutman and state Sen. Mattie Hunter.
“The new Kennedy-King College will be an outstanding institution of higher learning, a place where people from the South Side and across the city can obtain the education they need to land good jobs and pursue the American dream,” Daley said. “But this will be more than just a new college campus. It also will be an anchor of the Englewood community and an important part of its continuing revitalization.”
The 40-acre campus, scheduled for completion in 2007, will have six buildings: academic, applied science, library, culinary and theater, athletics and student services, and a day-care center.
The library, bookstore, restaurant, athletic facilities and day-care center will be open to the public.
“There was a time when schools and colleges walled themselves off from the surrounding community,” Daley said. “That won’t happen at the new Kennedy-King College. It will be part of the community.”
Kennedy-King is one of seven colleges that compose the City Colleges of Chicago. The new campus will replace the existing one at 6800 S. Wentworth Ave.
Daley said he expects the new campus to attract additional housing and commercial development to Englewood.
“Englewood’s revival has been the result of a partnership of the City, community residents, not-for-profit organizations, the faith community and the private sector,” he said. “Together, we’ve revived a community that many people had written off. And Englewood will become even better and stronger over the next several years as these projects are completed.”
Daley said Englewood’s development has been spurred by new public buildings that have served as community anchors.
The new West Englewood Branch Library, 1745 W. 63rd St., opened in 2003. Last year, the Department on Aging opened the new Englewood Satellite Senior Center at 653 W. 63rd Street. A new Englewood District Police Station is expected to open at 63rd Street and Loomis Boulevard in 2007.
The Salvation Army has begun construction of a Red Shield community center at 901 W. 69th Street and the Children’s Home and Aid Society will break ground next year on a children’s center 1701 W. 63rd St.
New affordable housing is being developed by St. Bernard Hospital, Antioch Baptist Church and the Chicago Better Housing Association.
A Food For Less shopping plaza is being constructed at 69th Street and Ashland Avenue, and a Walgreens and Wendy’s are under construction at 63rd Street and Union Avenue.
The merchants who formerly occupied the site of the new college have formed the Englewood Commercial Development Corporation. With City help, they are building a new retail center on Halsted Street b