CHICAGO — Chicago Board of Education members were peppered with questions during a five-hour Wednesday meeting about a proposed plan to build a new high school on the city’s Near South Side.
Members ultimately voted 4-3 in favor of a multi-million dollar school, approving buying property at 23rd and Wabash for the Chicago Housing Authority, which would then lease the board a 1.7-acre site at 24th and State, where they plan to build the new high school.
It’s a move Chinatown community leaders have supported for decades. But some say the proposed spot is not the right location for the new school. People opposed to the plan say the city should use CHA property for public housing because a need remains.
Those against the move have also shared concern that a new school will drain resources from neighboring high schools.
“We were hoping the CPS would take a longer time rather than rushing through a vote today to have more robust public engagement about all of these questions; the location and programming and so on,” said Grace Chan McKibbon with the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community.
State Representative Theresa Mah disagreed with the vote, saying she would withhold state funding if it moved forward. It’s unclear where that stands now that the proposal has the green light.