Elementary school construction costs: CPS vs. UNO

September 16, 2011

The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages school construction projects and renovations for Chicago Public Schools.  

The following chart shows costs and construction duration times for recent elementary school projects.  

The new UNO Soccer Academy school is the lowest cost elementary school constructed in recent years. But because it’s built for fewer students, the UNO school cost taxpayers thousands more per seat. Construction times at the UNO school were significantly lower.


CPS Elementary SchoolYear OpenedTotal Project CostSquare FeetStudent SeatsCost per SeatConstruction Duration
Dr. Jorge Prieto Math & Science Academy2009$36,852,201105,576900$40,94714 months
Mark T. Skinner Elementary School2009$32,869,750101,000742$44,29916 months
Irene C. Hernandez2009$39,473,359126,7481230$32,09215 months
Lorca Elementary School2010$31,799,017104,709900$35,33217 months
West Ridge Elementary School2010$33,735,131105,177900$37,48317 months
Mariano Azuela Elementary School2010$31,133,510105,177900$34,59316 months
Calmeca Academy2010$38,509,021105,177900$42,78815 months
Ogden International School of Chicago*2011$54,066,653109,000900$60,07419 months
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Paideia Academy2011$29,333,914104,709900$32,59317 months
AVERAGE CPS $36,419,173107,475919$39,62416.2 months
AVERAGE CPS excluding Ogden $34,213,238107,284922$37,12815.9 months
UNO Soccer Academy2011$27,000,00063,300580$46,55210 months

*Project cost at Ogden is higher due to underground parking facility. 

 Total Project Cost includes cost of construction and other costs such as land acquisition, site remediation, and site development.

Source: Chicago Building Commission of Chicago and UNO

CORRECTION: A correction was made to this story on 9/19/2011 at 10:30am.  An earlier version of this chart misstated the average cost per seat of a new CPS grammar school. That cost is $39,624. If Ogden International is excluded, the average cost per seat is $37,128.