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Mayor Richard M. Daley cut the ceremonial ribbon today at the new West Ridge Elementary School located at 6700 N. Whipple Street, in the West Rogers Park community on the far north side.
Built to relieve high enrollment at nearby Boone Elementary School and Clinton Elementary School, this new school is part of 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.
“West Ridge Elementary is a great addition to the West Rogers Park community and it underscores our commitment to preparing our youth for future accomplishments in life by taking our schools to a new level of success,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “Our goal is to make every neighborhood school a high quality school that a parent wants to send their child to because it offers our students a great opportunity for a solid education.”
It is one of 11 new schools that have opened under MSAC in the last two years.
West Ridge Elementary contains more than 100,000 square feet and includes pre-k/kindergarten classrooms, 24 standard academic classrooms, two multipurpose rooms, computer, science music and art classrooms, as well as a library/media resource center, a gymnasium, and a play area with playground equipment.
The building, which cost about $41 million, was fully funded by City of Chicago dollars, including $31 million in TIF funding. It is targeted to achieve "Silver" level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design schools’ rating system, and includes a combination green and reflective roof to combat the urban heat island effect.
The school is fully accessible for people with disabilities and is designed for community use on evenings and weekends and features separate, independent entrances for both the library and the athletic wing.
In addition to West Ridge Elementary, other new MSAC schools opening this year include Mariano Azuela Elementary School in West Lawn, Solorio Academy High School in Gage Park, Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language in Brighton Park and Federico Garcia Lorca Elementary School Elementary School in the Avondale Community.
“An improved learning environment is one of greatest tools we can give our students and our educators to help them achieve the highest levels possible,” Daley said.
Design and construction of West Ridge was overseen and managed by the city’s Public Building Commission.