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Obama Visit Creates Four-Day Weekend For Mount Carmel Students

By Erica Demarest | February 15, 2013 12:48pm
 President Barack Obama is set to speak at Hyde Park Academy Friday.
President Barack Obama is set to speak at Hyde Park Academy Friday.
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Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

CHICAGO — One South Side high school got an unexpected vacation day Friday, and students have President Barack Obama to thank.

Mount Carmel High School, an all-boys Catholic school in Woodlawn, suspended classes Friday in anticipation of the traffic Obama’s visit to nearby Hyde Park Academy could cause.

The last-minute decision was made Thursday afternoon, Mount Carmel spokeswoman Tessa Burke said.

“We just didn’t know what to expect or anticipate, and we have students from 119 ZIP codes,” Burke said.

Some travel to Mount Carmel, 6410 S. Dante Ave., from as far as northwest Indiana or Chicago’s southwest suburbs, Burke said. They rely on everything from Metra to private buses to their family cars.

Mount Carmel’s facilities and administrative offices will remain open, Burke said, “so any students who need to access books or study materials are welcome to do that.”

The unexpected vacation day created a four-day weekend at the school, as students already had Monday off for Presidents Day.

The Hyde Park visit marks Obama's third stop since his State of the Union speech. The president was expected to speak about gun control and strengthening the middle class during the invitation-only speech at Hyde Park Academy.