$8 million in TIF funding approved to buy land for a Near South high school

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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The Chicago Board of Education will receive funding from the city to buy land from Chicago Housing Authority and build a new Near South High School at 2450 S State St.

The site was previously set aside for affordable housing and will now be used to build a $150 million high school. Previous estimates listed the project’s total cost around $130 million.

Members of the committee on finance approved a proposal on Dec. 12 to provide tax-increment finance – or TIF – money to allow Chicago Public Schools’ purchase of a cluster of properties near 2450 S. State St. The site was previously set aside for affordable housing and will now be used to build a $150 million high school. Previous estimates listed the project’s total cost around $130 million.

Speaking at the meeting this week, Ald. Pat Dowell said the approval is an “opportunity to create a diverse high school — a model for the city of Chicago for a growing area including the South Loop.

The proposed high school is included in the capital budget last spring, with a $70 million budget – including $50 million from state funds.

The Chicago Board of Education approved buying two acres as part of a land swap agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority for the proposed site in September and $5 million to plan the new high school.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will also need to approve the land swap agreement.

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