University Buys Land for Charter School Expansion

Construction of the new charter school building will cost $27.5 million.

By Ben Andrew

The City of Chicago has finalized the sale of land to the University for a new 29,000 square foot building to house the Woodlawn Campus of the University of Chicago Charter School.

The land, which is between 63rd Street, 64th Street, University Avenue, and Greenwood Avenue, totals about 3.5 acres.

Construction of the building will cost the University $27.5 million. It will begin in February, and will be completed in August 2017, in time for students to begin the 2017–18 school year.

The campus is currently located in the old Wadsworth Elementary School building at University Avenue and 64th Street. The University has not publicized its plans for the building after the school moves.

The new building will have a gym and a locker room, which the current location lacks. It will also have a larger cafeteria, more room for arts programs, and a dedicated space for college counseling. Plans also include an outdoor track and football field.

The school plans to increase its enrollment at the Woodlawn Campus from 650 students to 750 students after moving into the new building.

The Woodlawn Campus serves grades 6–12. 99 percent of its students are African American, and 83 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. In 2013, 100 percent of the graduating class was accepted to college. The Woodlawn Campus was established in 2006 by the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute.