An artful use
04/11/2012 10:00 PM
We’re excited to see another high school moving to the Near West Side. The Chicago High School for the Arts seems to be a great program, but simply a bad fit for its current location.
Folks in Bronzeville are unhappy that the school has taken over two of its local elementary school buildings, and folks going to ChiArts — which pulls its students from around the city — have voiced concerns about Bronzeville’s crime.
So it seems that moving ChiArts to Malcolm X’s old building when the college moves out in 2015 is a win-win deal. Bronzeville folks will get their freshly renovated Doolittle Elementary buildings back, and ChiArts students will get a safer location that’s centrally located and easier to get to.
The new arts campus that’ll spring up in Malcolm X’s old building could become a national model for cooperation between education groups and local nonprofits. Sharing the space at Malcolm X will benefit everyone involved — and there should be plenty of it to share. The community it’ll foster could be a great one.
We’re unsure, though, why the city is pulling this deal in the first place. Why exactly was the old Malcolm X building not good enough for the college again? Building a $251 million new complex next door seems a bit silly, if the old building is still fit for occupancy. There better be some top-notch medical training facilities in the new building.
Don’t think, also, that this is a new neighborhood school. This school prides itself on taking students from all around the city, so Near West Side students may not get a bigger bite of the apple.
Nevertheless, a prominent school like this can only serve to enhance the neighborhood. We look forward to 2015.