Malcolm X College is getting a new building to go along with its health care-focused curriculum makeover, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Feb 21, with the head of Chicago’s City Colleges.
The new facility, costing roughly $250 million, will be built on MXC’s parking lot that it shares with the United Center during home games of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks.
It’s all part of a $479 million system-wide rehab of the City Colleges system, Emanuel says. System-wide, classrooms will be rehabbed, along with improving security and fixing long-deferred maintenance issues at the city’s seven junior colleges.
But MXC, 1900 W. Van Buren, will be the only college in the system to get a brand new building, under the plan from Emanuel and City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman. Emanuel said the upgrades are an important part of making sure the City Colleges’ new focus ¡ª getting its students ready for specific careers ¡ª is a success.
“People are looking for jobs; employees are looking for skilled workers, and the only thing that can link them is the education system,” Emanuel said at last Tuesday’s press conference. “For too long, the City Colleges have stood on the sidelines.”
Emanuel said the building will be paid for mostly with bonds issued by the City Colleges, cash saved from recent financial reforms in the system, and $8 million in TIF money.
Construction on the building is set to begin in summer or fall of 2013, with construction of the new building’s 1,500-spot parking garage. The building is slated to be finished by spring of 2015.
The current building was completed in 1971. The college’s name was established before the building was finished, led by students of Crane College who pushed naming their new school after the civil rights leader. MXC is among the oldest buildings in the city college system.
Despite taking away one of the surface parking lots used for United Center events, the mayor’s office said they don’t expect the new building’s construction to disrupt the neighborhood, with more than 800 official parking spots available and more options nearby, as well as public transportation.
It’s not clear yet what will happen to the current building, as Mayor Emanuel declined to comment on that issue. ¡¡