Chicago high school science labs to get $75M upgrades

CHICAGO — Chicago officials say $75 million will be spent over three years to renovate science laboratories in 82 public high schools.

In announcing the plan Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged significant disparities in the quality of school facilities.

The plan comes a year after the Chicago Board of Education approved new graduation requirements that will compel high school students to take one credit each in biology, chemistry and physics.

Emanuel said many of the city’s high schools have science labs that are replicas of what existed “during the Sputnik-Apollo era.”

Schools in line for new lab spaces include some of the district’s updated campuses and marquee selective-enrollment programs.

CPS did not provide an exact construction timetable for the lab projects. Officials said the financing needed to pay for all of the construction still needs to be secured.