Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today the City has taken a major step towards the development of a new, state-of-the-art Englewood High School by awarding a minority-lead joint venture to complete the design and construction of the project. UJAMAA / Power II Joint Venture will develop the new south side High School located on South Normal Boulevard at 69th Street. As Englewood continues its resurgence, this $85 million facility will attract area students by building on the surging academic progress in the area’s elementary schools. The school will open in the fall of 2019.
“Today we are making monumental strides in investing in the education and future of the children of Englewood,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am thrilled that the UJAMAA / Power II Joint Venture has committed to hiring members of the community to bring Englewood’s children a brand new 21st century high school that will help prepare them for success in our 21st century world.”
The new three-story school will broaden the range of educational opportunities for approximately 1,200 high school students by providing diverse learning, music, art, health, dance, multi-purpose and standard classrooms. Site improvements will include fields for baseball, softball, football and track. There will also be tennis and basketball courts located within the sports quad. CPS continues to hold community meetings to discuss additional key issues, including student transition, safety planning, naming the school, the academic programming and focus and other critical issues.
“The parents of Englewood deserve to send their children to a high-quality school, and this facility will provide just that,” said Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer, 6th Ward. “I look forward as our community not only helps to build this modern facility, but to then watch our Englewood students grow in a top-notch learning facility that helps them to achieve their dreams.”
The building will also house a self-contained school-based health center designed to support both the students and the community-at-large. The health center will provide access to comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services to residents of Englewood and surrounding neighborhoods. In September 2016, a school-based health center was opened at Steinmetz High sShool, and provides access health services to residents of the Belmont-Cragin, Dunning and Montclare communities as well as Steinmetz high school students.
Development of the project will be managed by the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC); the UJAMAA / Power II Joint Venture was appointed at PBC’s October 19 Board of Commissioners meeting. The team demonstrated the requisite experience and deep commitment to the overarching goals of the new Englewood High School.
“The new Englewood High School is more than a building, it is an opportunity to celebrate learning and achievement of every student who will pass through its doors,” Carina E. Sanchez, PBC’s Executive Director said. “This is a project that recognizes the interaction between students and the community goes far beyond the walls of a building and we look forward to working with the design-build team to create a unifying campus with recreational, family and after-school activities for the entire Englewood community.”
The joint venture has committed to meeting minority and women business enterprise requirements along with Equal Employment Opportunities for the project. In addition, the selection of the UJAMAA/POWER II Joint Venture supports the City’s initiative to create jobs for underserved neighborhoods across Chicago. The initiative was passed by City Council in 2016 to increase job opportunities for minority and female workers in all city-funded construction projects to ensure that the City is spending its funds in a way that strengthens every neighborhood.
“We are confident our design will create a positive experience for everyone that enters the school’s campus,” said Jimmy Akintonde, President of UJAMAA Construction.
Founded in 2002 by owner and architect Jimmy Akintonde, UJAMAA has consistently built its portfolio with successful projects and satisfied clients. UJAMAA has decades of combined general construction experience from the most premier construction companies in the Midwest. In 2016, UJAMAA completed over $42 million in local construction projects. Other members of the joint venture team include Power Construction, McKissack & McKissack, Moody Nolan Architects, Brook Architecture, David Mason Engineers and GMA Construction.
Chicago Public Schools proposed the neighborhood high school in June. This decision came after the Englewood Community Action Council made a formal request, and will merge the Harper, Hope, Robeson and TEAM Englewood high schools.
“Bringing together Englewood students will give these students a comprehensive high school experience in a state-of-the-art building,” said CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. “By building a modern neighborhood high school with excellent academic programming, we believe that this could quickly become one of the strongest high schools in the city.”
Englewood has become a hub for economic development and resurgence. Kennedy-King College has been revitalized and attracts talent for its world-class culinary program. City Colleges of Chicago recently announced the sale of their downtown headquarters building, and will begin moving administrative staff into Englewood. This follows the relocation of more than 200 Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management employees relocating to the area. In his first term, Mayor Emanuel brought a new early childhood learning facility to the community. Last year, he opened the doors to the new Whole Foods in Englewood, which has turned into a thriving community center. The store anchors Englewood Square, a 5.5 acre retail development that includes a Chipotle and Starbucks.