U. of C. presents development plans for south of 61st Street


Staff Writer

At a community meeting Thursday night, the University of Chicago (U. of C.) talked about upcoming projects for the southern end of its campus.

During the 6 p.m. meeting at AKArama Community Service Center, 6220 S. Ingleside Ave., the university presented three projects that will be built on the south side of the university’s campus.

According to William Towns, the assistant vice president of neighborhood initiatives at U. of C., the university had a previous agreement that they would not develop south of 61st Street. Towns said that based on community meetings and the feedback from those meetings, that there is no longer a ban on developing south of 61st Street.

The location for the university’s latest charter school will sit on 63rd Street between Greenwood and University avenues. The currently vacant lot will be a 70,000 square foot three-story school with a 50 percent green roof, garden areas and a full size football field.

Students from grades 7-12 will be able to attend the new school.

According to Patrick Wilson, the project manager at U. of C., construction for the charter school will begin some time in June and the project is expected to finish by the winter of 2017.

The other projects consisted of the Keller Center for the Harris School of Public Policy that currently sits on the site of the New Graduate Residence Hall at 1307 E. 60th St. The Keller Center will provide space for teaching, research and events.

For this project, there will mainly be a focus on changing the interior of the building, while maintaining and preserving the Greek column-style architecture. The project will begin this November and is expected to be completed by August of 2018.

A modern-looking 90,000 square foot structure will be built on the corner of 60th Street and Woodlawn Avenue as a place for meetings, conferences, special events and workshops. The new building will be called the David M. Rubenstein Forum because of recent gifts made by the U. of C. alum. Construction for this project is scheduled to begin some time this year.

The Keller Center and the David M. Rubenstein Forum will sit next to each other across from the Midway Plaisance Park.

These three projects are an effort from the university to expand and revamp the southern end of its campus.

“There will be an overall vibrancy and a lot more change in activity on our South campus. These are long time goals for our university,” said Marlon Lynch, the associate vice president for Safety and Security at U. of C.