PBC Executive Director Montel Gayles speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for the new Albany Park Middle School as Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan (left) and Isabel Ortiz, president of the Albany Park Multicultural Academy, look on.
The new building, to be located at 4929 N. Sawyer, will accommodate approximately 700 students and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006. Hibbard Elementary will be the main feeder school, though students will also come from other surrounding elementary and middle schools.
“Relieving overcrowding has been an ongoing commitment of this administration,” said Duncan. “A better learning environment contributes to better performance.”
The $20 million Albany Park Middle School will be more than 104,000 square feet and have 26 standard academic classrooms for 7th- and 8th-graders. Other features will include two science rooms, a music room, an art room, a computer room, a multipurpose room, a library media center, an administrative center, a nurse and student services center and a gym.
The school also will be fully accessible to people with disabilities, it will include a state-of-the-art computer network. Some of the proposed environmental features will include recycled building components, a motion activated lighting control system to save energy, and vegetative roof surfaces that capture rainwater, return a portion to the atmosphere and lower the roof temperature to conserve energy.
Over the past decade, 40,000 new classroom seats have been added by building new schools and approximately 70 annexes, and leasing closed Catholic schools and reopening them as Chicago public schools.