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Mayor Plans To Double Size Of Jones College Prep

William Jones College Preparatory High School, at 606 S. State St. (Credit: CBS)

William Jones College Preparatory High School, at 606 S. State St. (Credit: CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that he wants to expand a selective enrollment high school in the South Loop.

WBBM Political Ediytor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor said there are 89 applicants for every seat at William Jones College Preparatory High School.

A new building has been constructed, and is set to open next fall at 700 S. State St., but the mayor said the old building, at 606 S. State St., won’t be destroyed as originally planned.

“We have decided to not only keep it open, but to open up its doors and … enlarge the freshman class coming in each year for the next four years,” he said.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said the city wants to nearly double enrollment at Jones by 2016, from 900 students to 1,700.

“We propose the expansion of Jones College Prep, with the addition of 500 new selective-enrollment seats over the next four years,” she said. “The expansion will be made possible by the renovation of the current Jones building. The new Jones facility is just down the block, and will be ready for students this coming year.”

But Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) said what the city needs is more high-quality neighborhood schools, not schools that draw students from all over the city, like Jones.

Other local residents also would like to see the old Jones building turned into a neighborhood high school.