Malcolm X College will get a new $251 million campus as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push to turn the community college into a pipeline for the health care jobs that he said will be a major growth area in Chicago.
The two-building, 500,000-square-foot campus will be adjacent to Malcolm X’s current building and across the street from the United Center. The new campus is part of a $479 million, five-year capital plan the mayor announced for the seven-campus City Colleges of Chicago system.
The mayor has been saying since last summer that he hopes technological improvements and curriculum changes across City Colleges will enable the schools to train students for specific careers when they graduate.
Olive-Harvey College will focus on transportation-related professions to take advantage of Chicago’s position as a hub for rail and other shipping jobs, Emanuel said. He will make upcoming announcements about the focuses at other campuses, the mayor said.
Emanuel would not comment on the plans for Malcolm X’s current building, which opened in 1971. The new campus is scheduled to be finished in 2015.
Overall construction and classroom upgrades will be paid for with City Colleges’ capital reserves of $120 million, $274 million from new borrowing, $77 million from operations and $8 million in funds from special property tax zones.
The buildings will go up on what’s now a parking lot, which will cut down on available parking near the United Center in the short-term. Once the buildings are completed, a 1,500-vehicle parking garage will be part of the expansion.