Parents in the South Loop complained that there was not enough viable neighborhood school options. They felt going to Dunbar on King Drive and 30th street and King Drive south of the McCormick place was too far. Even schools like Whitney Young and UIC College in the near West Side was too far. Jones was the school that most south loop parents wanted to send their kids to. However, Jones as you can see from the picture above is a small school. It houses about 800 students in a small building. Plus the current Jones lacks facilities. It does not even have a gym for it's basketball team.
So the CPS decided to make a new Jones College Prep located right next to the old Jones. Last year the CPS put $24 million for the new Jones. This year, they allocated an additional $96 million funded by Tax Increment Funding (TIF) funds. The new Jones will have about 1200 students. That is a 50% increase in enrollment from the current Jones. No word yet on the exact date of completion.
However, I expect better athletic facilities. With improved facilites, more students, good students, and good coaching, Jones has the ingredients to really upgrade its sports programs. The cross country team has already shown great success with the boys and girls side. The basketball team has jumped out to a 6-1 start -one of the best starts in school history- and are in first place in the Blue Central.
Keep a look out on Jones athletics!
As a side note, Jones is not the only school the CPS is putting money into.They decided to put aside over $75 million in much needed capital repairs for the ancient CVS campus.