Shuttered CPS elementary to be home of Chicago High School for the Arts: sources

Nov 4, 2013 by

A shuttered neighborhood school building will likely be turned into an arts high school, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Though Chicago Public Schools officials and Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) say the Lafayette Elementary School is only one of several buildings under consideration for the new location of the Chicago High School for the Arts — affectionately known as ChiArts — other City Hall sources described it as a done deal.

ChiArts and Lafayette in Humboldt Park once planned to share the Lafayette building but the plan fell through a few years ago. In the recent school closings, Lafayette was shuttered because of low enrollment.

Some in the Lafayette community are feeling the sting, questioning why their school was closed only to make room for a new one.

“For crying out loud, how do you move 570 students that were comfortable, that had the programs they needed . . . and . . . later you lease out their building?” said Rousemary Vega, 33, who once conducted a sit-in at Lafayette to protest its closure.

But for ChiArts, which has bounced around three locations, occupying the Lafayette building would finally give it a place to establish roots. The school officials have been searching for a permanent spot since 2009 when ChiArts opened.

“It’s been a long journey to find a home for us,” ChiArts spokesman Chris Smith said.

“We hope it becomes a done deal,” he said of the Lafayette space.

“CPS has been working with ChiArts for the past several months to identify a permanent home for the school,” CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said, adding that there have been nine potential locations in total and the search remains in “the planning process.”

ChiArts considered the Lafayette building once before. That was a few years ago and both schools would have shared the space.

But in 2010, ChiArts pulled out, said Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), whose ward, before the remap, included the area Lafayette is in.

via Shuttered CPS elementary to be home of Chicago High School for the Arts: sources – Chicago Sun-Times.

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