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A duo for UNO: Organization breaks ground on second Southwest Side academy

The $27 million UNO Soccer Academy High School is a glassy, circular structure for up to 960 students.

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Almost a year after debuting an architecturally forward-looking Southwest Side soccer academy, the United Neighborhood Organization will break ground Thursday on a similarly-themed high school to be built right next door.

Designed by Wight & Co., an architecture, engineering and construction firm in suburban Darien, the $27 million UNO Soccer Academy High School is a glassy, circular structure for 960 high school students. It will be a few hundred feet from the UNO Soccer Academy, an eye-poppingly contemporary and angular elementary school designed by JGMA Architects and Ghafari Architects that opened last fall. The edge of the existing school can be seen to the right in the image above.

The two buildings will compose a single campus 51st and Homan in the predominantly Hispanic (and soccer-loving) Gage Park neighborhood. The high school is expected to be completed by fall of 2013.

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In a news release, UNO CEO Juan Rangel said linking soccer and education creates “an environment where children learn with the commitment and support of their families.”

Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan are expected to attend today’s groundbreaking.

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