ROGERS PARK — Students at the Chicago Math and Science Academy were "pumped" Monday at the long-awaited unveiling of the school's new gym.
About a year in the making, the $1.5 million facility will be the first permanent home for the school's Titans sports teams and physical education classes.
"We've been waiting for this thing ever since we moved into this campus in 2009," Principal Aydin Kara said to the deafening cheers of the school's nearly 600 students packed into the gym's new bleachers.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) was also in attendance. His pep talk elicited even a louder response from the students.
"There are going to be some raucous basketball games in this house," Moore shouted into his microphone.
Moore said "paving the way" for the charter school was one of the crowning achievements of his 22-year tenure as alderman.
Mascots — including Tommy Hawk of the Blackhawks and Sky Guy of the Chicago Sky — pranced, flipped and shot baskets on the gym floor as Chief Keef's "Love Sosa" was blasted through the gym's speaker system.
The crowd went wild.
Student Tayyaba Hanif, 17, said her peers had been "pumped" all morning ahead of the 11 a.m. pep rally.
"It took awhile, but it's worth it," she said, adding that school spirit has never been higher.