Mayor Daley Breaks Ground for New High School in Ashburn Community

New School to Open in Fall 2012 will Alleviate Enrollment Challenges

Mayor’s Press Office 312-744-3334
Mimi Simon, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

Mayor Richard M. Daley joined Alderman Lona Lane (18th Ward) today at a ceremonial ground breaking marking the start of construction for the Southwest Area High School located at 7651 S. Homan Avenue in the Ashburn Community on the southwest side.

“South West High School is another new neighborhood school that we know will become a strong anchor in the Ashburn Community. These groundbreakings reflect our ongoing commitment to build and improve schools all across Chicago. It will help us ensure that the dreams of our children won’t be deferred,” said Mayor Daley.

Scheduled to open in fall 2012, this new school is designed to serve 1,200 students and is expected to alleviate enrollment challenges at nearby Bogan High School, Gage Park High School, Hancock High School and Hubbard High School.

The new high school represents another substantial project for Mayor Daley’s “Modern Schools Across Chicago” (MSAC) initiative, a substantial capital investment by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Public Schools designed to bring new schools and major high school renovations on board throughout Chicago.

The Modern Schools Across Chicago Initiative is fully funded by City money.

The new state-of-the-art high school will be a 3-story, 200,000 square foot facility with steel frame and masonry construction. Along with 26 standard academic classrooms, the school will feature science and computer labs, visual arts and performing arts classrooms, a gymnasium, a natatorium with 6-lane pool, kitchen and dining facilities, a library/media resource center, a distance learning lab and a high-tech computer network.

The new high school is designed for community use on evenings and weekends and features separate, independent entrances for both the library and the athletic wing.

“In partnership with our Board of Commissioners and our client, the Chicago Public Schools, the Public Building Commission is proud to be managing the development of a new high school that will benefit the local students and the community at large,” said Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi. “As a good steward of the public fund, we are committed to delivering this project with all the economic and social benefits that only a public development can deliver.”

Contract provisions for PBC projects include:

  • Bid incentives for the employment of apprentices;
  • Bid incentives for the employment of minority and female workers;
  • A requirement that at least 50 percent of the labor force be residents of the City of Chicago; and
  • The requirement of Minority- and Women-owned business participation

The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at