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Emanuel plans new campus building for Malcolm X College

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Chicago’s Malcom X College is slated for a new, $251 million campus building to train students for careers in health care, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday.

It’s part of the mayor’s $479 million “College to Careers” initiative to update the seven city colleges over the next five years and move their curriculum toward a more job skills-based education.

“For too long, the city colleges have been off on the sidelines,” said Emanuel. “I want to put them back on the playing field and give the kids a chance at both a career and a skills education.”

Construction on the 500,000 square-foot building and accompanying 1,500-car parking garage is scheduled to begin in 2013 and be completed in spring of 2015.

Programing at the new campus building will focus specifically on preparing students for careers in health care. The school will also partner with Rush University Medical Center and Advocate Health Care, among other medical specialists in the city, to plan curriculum and mentoring programs.

The mayor plans to use this skills-education model to tailor curriculums at the other six community colleges around so-called “growth industries” in the city, like logistics, distribution and aviation, among others.

While Malcolm X College will be the only institution to receive a completely new building, the other six colleges will receive less-extensive updates. The mayor said $77 million will be spent on upgrading classrooms with new technology and building new libraries, labs and student support centers. Another $135 million will go toward “long-deferred” maintenance projects, including roof and building exterior repairs.

Emanuel’s office says the majority of the money for the upgrades will come from bonds and City College savings. Around $8 million in tax increment financing money will also be used for the projects.

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