(Chicago, IL) — November 22, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $25 million capital grant to build the United Neighborhood Organization’s newest charter school, the Gage Park Campus in Chicago.
Billy Ocasio, a Senior Advisor to Governor Quinn, joined Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley and UNO Chief Executive Officer Juan Rangel to break ground on the project.
“This project will ease school overcrowding and give Chicago parents another quality option for their child’s education,” said Quinn.
The school, which will be located at 3434 West 51st Street, will serve approximately 630 students in kindergarten through 8th grade and help relieve overcrowding that has plagued schools in many Chicago communities.
The project will also create 42 full and part-time positions and 350 construction jobs.
“This project represents the great potential possible when state partners with community to address problems in our neighborhoods,” said Rangel.
“Funding through the state’s capital plan will allow UNO to be able to devote more resources to improving classroom education, instead of construction costs, while also allowing them to remain on the cutting edge in terms of efficiency and sustainability,” said Ribley.
The state has invested more than $30 million this year for green, capital and digital literacy initiatives at UNO schools.
For example, the state funded a new green roof and solar heating system at Veterans Memorial Charter School Campus, as well as capital funds for construction of the facility. Additionally, the state also provided UNO with $369,000 to help provide computer training for more than 2,600 low-income individuals in Gage Park, Pilsen, Avondale, Brighton Park and surrounding communities.
The new Gage Park school is expected to open in time for the 2011-2012 school year.