Work continues on the new Jones College Prep High School (700 South State Street) being built next door to the old Jones College Prep High School at 606 South State Street. It sat as an empty lot for quite a long time after the Pacific Gardens Mission and its famous “Jesus Saves” sign was forced into a less desirable neighborhood (1458 South Canal Street) and its building razed. Now the steel is finally up, and it appears the Perkins + Will-designed building has reached its maximum height.
Many people are familiar with the old building, built in 1967 to look like a brutalist office block. The new high school is described by the Chicago Public Building Commission thusly:
A new non-prototypical high school for 1,200 selective-enrollment and community students, which includes below-grade parking, general classrooms, science labs, world language/computer classrooms, art classrooms, music classrooms, administration suite, nurses/student services suite, student dining area with servery and full cooking kitchen, multi-purpose room, library, gymnasium, natatorium, separate auditorium, and building support spaces.
There is a growing movement to have the old high school building turned into a school for children who live in the neighborhood, instead of being torn down.
As a point of interest, even though the two schools are adjacent, the new school is in the Dearborn Park neighborhood, while the old one is in the Printers Row neighborhood.