After years of planning and months of controversy, the South Loop is finally getting a new school.
The British School of Chicago had its ceremonial groundbreaking at its new South Loop campus today. It’s actually been under construction since April. The school is physically part of the Roosevelt Collection, the mid-use retail, restaurant and residential complex that after several years of near-dormancy has, itself, sprung to life in recent months.
In spite of the South Loop’s desperate need for a new school, this one was greeted with suspicion, anger and worse by locals for two reasons. First, because it is a private school; and second because some neighbors believe they were promised a new park would be built where the school is going. A public park is being built, but it’s on the roof of the building, which some residents don’t consider the same thing as that they think they were promised. They worry it will be locked off from the public, and believe it is going to be much smaller than what they were promised by the previous developers of the Roosevelt Collection.
We had a photographer at the event, and those fears seemed to be largely put aside by those in attendance. You can read more about the British School of Chicago’s plans in the South Loop in the press release below, and watch video of the ceremony above.
New British School of Chicago Campus Expands Opportunities for International Education in the South Loop
June 11, 2014 (Chicago) – The opening of the British School of Chicago’s new South Loop campus gives Chicago families a new option for premium education. Since 2001, the British School of Chicago has offered world-renowned academic programs at its top-ranked Lincoln Park campus. The South Loop expansion is part of an overall effort to enhance the student experience while meeting the continued demand for the British School of Chicago’s accomplished brand of premium, high-performance education.
“We are thrilled about our second campus and the expanded educational opportunities it will provide our students, our parents and our new community,” said Mike Horton, principal of the British School of Chicago. “The South Loop is perfectly suited to enhance the education of our students. The museum campus is right at our doorstep. Our students will be able to learn amidst Chicago’s rich cultural heritage.”
The new British School of Chicago campus at the Roosevelt Collection will serve more than 1000 children from preschool through grade 12, with a focus on students from middle school through high school. This new location will complement the school’s already successful campus in Lincoln Park, which currently serves children from preschool through high school and was rated as one of the top four private schools in all of Chicago. The second campus will also feature a recording studio, drama studio, IT and ingenuity stations, outdoor soccer field, fitness studio and a full-sized gymnasium.
“The school’s location and its amenities are truly state-of-the-art,” said Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery Interests, Inc. “The new campus in the Roosevelt Collection will be a destination for learning and living. Local businesses like Bridgeport Coffee Company and ShowPlace ICON Theatre are exciting amenities for teachers, parents and children.”
Similar to its Lincoln Park campus – ranked among the top four private schools in Chicago – the new South Loop campus will offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which focuses on individualized attention and has helped students outperform educational benchmarks averages by 50 to 100 percent. British School alums also go on to attend top-ranked American and international universities.
“Our parents see the British School of Chicago as a tremendous option for their children,” said Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO of Nord Anglia Education, global operator of the British School. “They are excited to send their children to a premium school and see the value of their children’s education every day. Our students are equipped to be independent, life-long learners and problem-solvers with the skills they need for a future that is vastly different from ours. That’s simply the British School of Chicago way.”
As the newest addition to the Roosevelt Collection, the campus will continue the positive growth that is occurring all across the South Loop community.
“The residents of the South Loop are extremely enthusiastic about the growing businesses and educational opportunities that are coming to the neighborhood. This area continues to attract new residents as the neighborhood and economy continue to grow and flourish,” said 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis. “The Roosevelt Collection and the British School are positive additions to the area and we will continue to work with area residents to ensure that there are even more new opportunities for our great city.”
The new South Loop campus is scheduled to open in September 2015.