State-of-the-Art Charter School for the South Side

September 14, 2010

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Freshmen learn skills that will help them in college Tuesday at Gary Comer College Prep in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)
Chicago's South Side has a new charter school building that rivals the most modern schools in the region.

It's hard to miss Gary Comer College Prep, with its shiny, lime-green, metallic exterior. Sophomore Janell Coleman knows most of her neighborhood looks rough. 

 

COLEMAN: It's not really pleasant to the eye, really. So coming here, it's - Wow - you know, like that.

 

Coleman now studies in classrooms with wall-to-wall white boards and sound-proof glass walls. There are airy hallways and mod shelves packed with books. Coleman says it's a very different high school experience than she might have had.

 

COLEMAN: I would probably be at Hirsch—which is my neighborhood school. It's not a great school. So that's why I'm grateful for our school. We are going to college. That's what they want us to do. They want us to go and also graduate.

 

The $20 million school was paid for through a mix of public and private funds. 

At a ribbon cutting Tuesday, schools chief Ron Huberman said Chicago should create charter schools in every neighborhood of the city.